Handbook for Synthesizing Qualitative Research

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Designated a Doody's Core Title!

Written for graduate-level students and faculty in health care science disciplines, this handbook will help you integrate the findings in reports of primary qualitative studies as well as extrapolate the methods and techniques used to create a qualitative research synthesis.

Using reports of studies in two domains of research and across behavior, social science, and practice disciplines, this handbook will help you:

  • Locate qualitative research synthesis in qualitative research, research synthesis, research utilization, and evidence-based practice
  • Locate the qualitative research synthesis enterprise in reading and writing practices
  • Differentiate qualitative research synthesis from other forms of inquiry
  • Formulate significant research problems and purposes for a qualitative research synthesis study
  • Design credible qualitative research synthesis studies that fit available resources
  • Conduct comprehensive searches for primary qualitative research reports in a target domain of inquiry
  • Conduct judicious appraisals of these qualitative research reports
  • Compare and classify findings across qualitative research reports
  • Select methodological approaches appropriate to the content and form of the qualitative research findings
  • Use qualitative metasummary and metasynthesis techniques to integrate qualitative research findings
  • Optimize the validity of qualitative research synthesis studies
  • Present the results of qualitative research synthesis studies in effective, audience-appropriate ways

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Diane M Tomasic, EdD, RN (Slippery Rock University )
Description: This book presents guidelines for synthesizing qualitative research, providing criteria for appraising reports of primary qualitative research studies.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a guide for integrating the findings of primary qualitative studies. This is a worthwhile goal, considering the growing importance of qualitative research. The authors recommend that this book not be used as a prescriptive set of rules to be followed, but as a stimulus for thinking and creativity.
Audience: The target audience is graduate nursing students and faculty as well as students and faculty in other healthcare and practice disciplines. The authors are well published in the area of qualitative research and are known internationally.
Features: This book provides procedures for preparing metasummaries and metasyntheses of qualitative research. It begins by introducing the concept of qualitative research synthesis. Steps for the retrieving qualitative studies are described and criteria for appraising the studies are provided. The preparation of qualitative metasummaries and metasyntheses are described. Numerous tables, figures, and boxed provide examples of the application of the content. A web site is available for further illustrations of the process of qualitative synthesis.
Assessment: This is a very worthwhile book for those learning how to synthesize qualitative research. It is a must for graduate programs focusing on qualitative research.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826156945
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Margarete Sandelowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Nursing and principal investigator of the Qualitative Metasynthesis Project on which this book is based. She is also director of the Annual Summer Institute in Qualitative Research held at UNC-CH School of Nursing. Dr. Sandelowski is one of three associate editors of Research in Nursing & Health, and a member of the editorial boards of Advances in Nursing Science, Field Methods, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Nursing Inquiry, and Qualitative Health Research. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in qualitative methods. She has more than 120 publications in both nursing and social science journals and books, with over 35 refereed papers on qualitative methods alone. The ethnographic work, With Child in Mind: Studies of the Personal Encounter with Infertility (1993), was awarded a national book prize by the American Anthropological Association. Devices and Desires: Gender, Technology, and American Nursing (2000), a social history of technology in nursing, has been favorably reviewed in both nursing and medical history journals.

Julie Barroso, PhD, ANP, APRN, BC, is Associate Professor & Director of the Adult Nurse Practitioner Program at Duke University School of Nursing, and co-principal investigator of the Qualitative Metasynthesis Project. She is also a senior research fellow with the Health Inequalities Program (part of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University) and served as chair of the Research Committee, part of the National Leadership Council for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Her practice, research, and teaching have focused on people with HIV infection. Dr. Barroso has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research in this area, including a metasynthesis of studies with HIV-positive men, study of physiological and psychological correlates of fatigue, a psychometric study of the HIV-Related Fatigue Scale, and a secondary analysis of a 12-year longitudinal data set to examine the relationship between fatigue and depression in HIV-positive gay men. She is currently principal investigator of a National Institute of Nursing Research longitudinal study of physiological, psychosocial, and personal factors in the development of HIV-related fatigue. Dr. Barroso maintains a practice at the Duke University AIDS Research and Treatment Center.

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Table of Contents

  1. Preface


    Introduction: Attitudes, Assumptions, and Caveats

  2. The Urge to Synthesize
  3. Conceiving the Qualitative Research Synthesis Study
  4. Searching For and Retrieving Qualitative Research Reports
  5. Appraising Reports of Qualitative Studies
  6. Classifying the Findings in Qualitative Research Reports
  7. Synthesizing Qualitative Research Findings: Qualitative Metasummary
  8. Synthesizing Qualitative Research Findings: Qualitative Metasynthesis
  9. Optimizing the Validity of Qualitative Research Synthesis Studies
  10. Presenting Syntheses of Qualitative Research Findings
  11. Appendix: Reports in the Qualitative Metasynthesis Project
  12. Index

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