Using Sandelowski and Barroso's Meta-Synthesis Method in Advancing Qualitative Evidence

  • Ludvigsen M
  • Hall E
  • Meyer G
 et al. 
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The purpose of this article was to iteratively account for and discuss the handling of methodological challenges in two qualitative research syntheses concerning patients' experiences of hospital transition. We applied Sandelowski and Barroso's guidelines for synthesizing qualitative research, and to our knowledge, this is the first time researchers discuss their methodological steps. In the process, we identified a need for prolonged discussions to determine mutual understandings of the methodology. We discussed how to identify the appropriate qualitative research literature and how to best conduct exhaustive literature searches on our target phenomena. Another finding concerned our status as third-order interpreters of participants' experiences and what this meant for synthesizing the primary findings. Finally, we discussed whether our studies could be classified as metasummaries or metasyntheses. Although we have some concerns regarding the applicability of the methodology, we conclude that following Sandelowski and Barroso's guidelines contributed to valid syntheses of our studies.

Author-supplied keywords

  • meta-synthesis
  • qualitative analysis
  • qualitative research synthesis
  • research design
  • systematic reviews

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  • Mette S. Ludvigsen

  • Elisabeth O.C. Hall

  • Gabriele Meyer

  • Liv Fegran

  • Hanne Aagaard

  • Lisbeth Uhrenfeldt

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