Limits...
Meta-ethnography 25 years on: challenges and insights for synthesising a large number of qualitative studies.

Toye F, Seers K, Allcock N, Briggs M, Carr E, Barker K - BMC Med Res Methodol (2014)

Bottom Line: Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings.These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process.These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK. Francine.toye@ouh.nhs.uk.

ABSTRACT
Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. Our team was funded to complete a meta-ethnography of patients' experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain. It has been 25 years since Noblit and Hare published their core text on meta-ethnography, and the current health research environment brings additional challenges to researchers aiming to synthesise qualitative research. Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings. These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process. We aimed to build on the methods of Noblit and Hare and explore the challenges of including a large number of qualitative studies into a qualitative systematic review. These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research. This paper describes our method and explores these challenges. Central to our method was the process of collaborative interpretation of concepts and the decision to exclude original material where we could not decipher a concept. We use excerpts from our research team's reflexive statements to illustrate the development of our methods.

Show MeSH
Using Nvivo to organise analysis. Figure 3 illustrates the nodes and sub-nodes used on NVivo 9 to organise the data extraction and analysis. It illustrates the process of creating collaborative translations from three interpretations in an attached NVivo 9 memo. The concept ‘Ambivalence about diagnosis’ is used as an example to show how a collaborative interpretation becomes part of the conceptual raw data for the meta-ethnography. The process of using NVivo 9 is described further in Additional file2.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4127190&req=5

Figure 3: Using Nvivo to organise analysis. Figure 3 illustrates the nodes and sub-nodes used on NVivo 9 to organise the data extraction and analysis. It illustrates the process of creating collaborative translations from three interpretations in an attached NVivo 9 memo. The concept ‘Ambivalence about diagnosis’ is used as an example to show how a collaborative interpretation becomes part of the conceptual raw data for the meta-ethnography. The process of using NVivo 9 is described further in Additional file2.

Mentions: We combined the benefits of face-to-face team discussions with the benefits of using NVivo 9. Not all qualitative researchers would choose to use computer software to organise their data extraction and analysis. This is a matter of personal preference and we do not advocate a right way of doing it. Some researchers prefer to use a more ‘hands-on’ approach with pen, paper and scissors. We felt that this would be unwieldy with such a large number of studies. The principal investigator (FT) maintained and organised the NVivo 9 database. After each team meeting FT transferred the coding, categorising and supporting definitions and notes for each team member onto NVivo 9. This allowed her to compare how each team member had categorised and defined conceptual categories, whilst being able to return to the original article. Figure 3 illustrates how we used NVivo to organise data extraction and analysis, and this process is more fully described in Additional file2 for those using NVivo software.


Meta-ethnography 25 years on: challenges and insights for synthesising a large number of qualitative studies.

Toye F, Seers K, Allcock N, Briggs M, Carr E, Barker K - BMC Med Res Methodol (2014)

Using Nvivo to organise analysis. Figure 3 illustrates the nodes and sub-nodes used on NVivo 9 to organise the data extraction and analysis. It illustrates the process of creating collaborative translations from three interpretations in an attached NVivo 9 memo. The concept ‘Ambivalence about diagnosis’ is used as an example to show how a collaborative interpretation becomes part of the conceptual raw data for the meta-ethnography. The process of using NVivo 9 is described further in Additional file2.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4127190&req=5

Figure 3: Using Nvivo to organise analysis. Figure 3 illustrates the nodes and sub-nodes used on NVivo 9 to organise the data extraction and analysis. It illustrates the process of creating collaborative translations from three interpretations in an attached NVivo 9 memo. The concept ‘Ambivalence about diagnosis’ is used as an example to show how a collaborative interpretation becomes part of the conceptual raw data for the meta-ethnography. The process of using NVivo 9 is described further in Additional file2.
Mentions: We combined the benefits of face-to-face team discussions with the benefits of using NVivo 9. Not all qualitative researchers would choose to use computer software to organise their data extraction and analysis. This is a matter of personal preference and we do not advocate a right way of doing it. Some researchers prefer to use a more ‘hands-on’ approach with pen, paper and scissors. We felt that this would be unwieldy with such a large number of studies. The principal investigator (FT) maintained and organised the NVivo 9 database. After each team meeting FT transferred the coding, categorising and supporting definitions and notes for each team member onto NVivo 9. This allowed her to compare how each team member had categorised and defined conceptual categories, whilst being able to return to the original article. Figure 3 illustrates how we used NVivo to organise data extraction and analysis, and this process is more fully described in Additional file2 for those using NVivo software.

Bottom Line: Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings.These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process.These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK. Francine.toye@ouh.nhs.uk.

ABSTRACT
Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. Our team was funded to complete a meta-ethnography of patients' experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain. It has been 25 years since Noblit and Hare published their core text on meta-ethnography, and the current health research environment brings additional challenges to researchers aiming to synthesise qualitative research. Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings. These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process. We aimed to build on the methods of Noblit and Hare and explore the challenges of including a large number of qualitative studies into a qualitative systematic review. These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research. This paper describes our method and explores these challenges. Central to our method was the process of collaborative interpretation of concepts and the decision to exclude original material where we could not decipher a concept. We use excerpts from our research team's reflexive statements to illustrate the development of our methods.

Show MeSH