Appraising the evidence: reviewing disparate data systematically

Qual Health Res. 2002 Nov;12(9):1284-99. doi: 10.1177/1049732302238251.


The authors describe a method of systematically reviewing research from different paradigms. They draw on the methods adapted, developed, and designed during a study concerned with the delivery of care across professional boundaries. Informed by the established method of systematic review, the authors undertook the review in distinct stages. They describe the methods developed for each stage and outline the difficulties encountered, the solutions devised, and the appraisal tools developed. Although many of the problems encountered were related to the critical assessment of qualitative research, the authors argue that the method of systematic review can be adapted for use with different data andacross disciplines.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Research*
  • United Kingdom