Qualitative metasynthesis: reflections on methodological orientation and ideological agenda

Qual Health Res. 2004 Dec;14(10):1342-65. doi: 10.1177/1049732304269888.


In an era of pressure toward evidence-based health care, we are witnessing a new enthusiasm for qualitative metasynthesis as an enterprise distinct from conventional literature reviews, secondary analyses, and the many other scholarly endeavors with which it is sometimes confused. This article represents the reflections of five scholars, each ofwhom has authored a distinct qualitative metasynthesis strategy. By providing the reader a glimpse into the tradition of their various qualitative metasynthesis projects, these authors offer a finely nuanced examination of the tensions between comparison and integration, deconstruction and synthesis, and reporting and integration within the metasynthesis endeavor. In so doing, they account for many of the current confusions about representation and generalization within the products of these inquiries. Through understanding the bases of their unique angles of vision, the reader is invited to engage in their commitment to scholarly integrity and intellectual credibility in this emerging methodological challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design