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Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example

Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example
Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example
Objectives: To demonstrate the benefits of applying meta ethnography to the synthesis of qualitative research, by means of a worked example.
Methods: Four papers about lay meanings of medicines were arbitrarily chosen. Noblit and Hare's seven-step process for conducting a meta ethnography was employed: getting started; deciding what is relevant to the initial interest; reading the studies; determining how the studies are related; translating the studies into one another; synthesising translations; and expressing the synthesis.
Results: Six key concepts were identified: adherence/compliance; self-regulation; aversion; alternative coping strategies; sanctions; and selective disclosure. Four second-order interpretations (derived from the chosen papers) were identified, on the basis of which four third-order interpretations (based on the key concepts and second-order interpretations) were constructed. These were all linked together in a line of argument that accounts for patients' medicine-taking behaviour and communication with health professionals in different settings. Third-order interpretations were developed which were not only consistent with the original results but also extended beyond them.
Conclusions: It is possible to use meta ethnography to synthesise the results of qualitative research. The worked example has produced middle-range theories in the form of hypotheses that could be tested by other researchers.
meta ethnography, qualitative
1355-8196
209-215
Britten, N.
a90b1b6f-5a45-452c-bb82-6527ed3f9aa7
Campbell, R.
5bd0b46a-6b67-4b0b-8346-b89160239200
Pope, C.
537319b8-553d-4ffd-a9da-7cd840e7a829
Donovan, J.
d7beea53-e30c-44f1-8f2c-fc44c5de3656
Morgan, M.
c1a6ed98-7052-4633-a5ab-43ef1663bb8f
Pill, R.
8d1e5a7a-85cb-41d4-b663-c4f3cea74194
Britten, N.
a90b1b6f-5a45-452c-bb82-6527ed3f9aa7
Campbell, R.
5bd0b46a-6b67-4b0b-8346-b89160239200
Pope, C.
537319b8-553d-4ffd-a9da-7cd840e7a829
Donovan, J.
d7beea53-e30c-44f1-8f2c-fc44c5de3656
Morgan, M.
c1a6ed98-7052-4633-a5ab-43ef1663bb8f
Pill, R.
8d1e5a7a-85cb-41d4-b663-c4f3cea74194

Britten, N., Campbell, R., Pope, C., Donovan, J., Morgan, M. and Pill, R. (2002) Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 7 (4), 209-215. (doi:10.1258/135581902320432732).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: To demonstrate the benefits of applying meta ethnography to the synthesis of qualitative research, by means of a worked example.
Methods: Four papers about lay meanings of medicines were arbitrarily chosen. Noblit and Hare's seven-step process for conducting a meta ethnography was employed: getting started; deciding what is relevant to the initial interest; reading the studies; determining how the studies are related; translating the studies into one another; synthesising translations; and expressing the synthesis.
Results: Six key concepts were identified: adherence/compliance; self-regulation; aversion; alternative coping strategies; sanctions; and selective disclosure. Four second-order interpretations (derived from the chosen papers) were identified, on the basis of which four third-order interpretations (based on the key concepts and second-order interpretations) were constructed. These were all linked together in a line of argument that accounts for patients' medicine-taking behaviour and communication with health professionals in different settings. Third-order interpretations were developed which were not only consistent with the original results but also extended beyond them.
Conclusions: It is possible to use meta ethnography to synthesise the results of qualitative research. The worked example has produced middle-range theories in the form of hypotheses that could be tested by other researchers.

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More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: meta ethnography, qualitative

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 11099
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/11099
ISSN: 1355-8196
PURE UUID: e1bac07e-cddc-49f8-a719-84806de38d2f

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2004
Last modified: 14 Sep 2021 17:56

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