Incorporating qualitative perspectives within your review: Choosing the right approach

Topic category Other methods for preparing systematic reviews
Date and Location
Tuesday 2 October 2012 - 13:30 - 15:00
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Qualitative Research Methods Group
Contact persons and facilitators
Contact person Affiliation Country
Andrew Booth (Contact this person) Qualitative Methods Group United Kingdom
Facilitator Affiliation Country
Andrew Booth Qualitative Methods Group United Kingdom
Janet Harris University of Sheffield United Kingdom
Jane Noyes Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group United Kingdom
Belinda Burford Cochrane Public Health Group Australia
Other contributors
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
University of East London, UK
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Centre for Methodology of Educational Research, Belgium
Target audience
Target audience: 
Review authors and Managing Editors
Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?: 
Level of knowledge required: 
Type of workshop
Type of workshop: 
Abstract text
The increasing number of Cochrane protocols and reviews that incorporate a qualitative synthesis is a clear indicator that what was once a field for the ’interested few’ is on its way to becoming mainstream practice. It is important that those engaging in a qualitative or mixed methods synthesis have a clear understanding of what particular approaches intend to do and which methods best fit a review’s goals.

This workshop is an accessible introduction to qualitative synthesis methodologies, addressing the purpose and challenges of several searching, sampling, appraisal and synthesis techniques, drawing from supplemental guidance to chapter 20 of the Cochrane Handbook (available from the Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group website). The workshop will cover guidance on:
• selecting an appropriate sampling frame for a qualitative review by illustrating different scenarios from published examples of reviews;
• what the key criteria are (or should be) for assessing study quality and how this might influence the choice of a critical appraisal instrument; and
• choosing between different synthesis methods using recently developed methodological decision trees.

The workshop will be a valuable learning experience for all those involved in systematically reviewing evidence from a variety of different study designs.