Systematic reviews of qualitative evidence: what are the experiences of women with endometriosis?

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Aug;26(6):501-6. doi: 10.1080/01443610600797301.


Just as systematic reviews of quantitative research have developed over the last two decades, the use of a systematic review is also superseding narrative non-systematic reviews in qualitative research in an attempt to bring rigour to reviewing research evidence. Qualitative research is concerned with the subjective world and the way in which people interpret and make sense of the reality of their lives. This paper describes procedures for conducting a systematic review on qualitative research, and the methods for assessing the quality of qualitative research papers, using published qualitative research on endometriosis as an example to demonstrate these. The conclusion from the systematic review carried out is that the values and methods utilised for a systematic review can usefully be applied to qualitative research. The review of endometriosis research revealed that despite the impact of endometriosis on the lives of women sufferers, little qualitative research has been conducted, and much of that which exists lacks rigour in a number of key areas.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Endometriosis* / psychology
  • Endometriosis* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Quality Control
  • Quality of Life