[Solution]Processes Used to Synthesize Research Evidence

Synthesis Process Systematic review Metaanalysis Metasynthesis Mixedmethods systematic review Purpose of Synthesis Types of Research Included in the Use of specific, systematic methods to identify,…

Synthesis
Process
Systematic
review
Metaanalysis
Metasynthesis
Mixedmethods
systematic
review
Purpose of Synthesis
Types of Research Included in the
Use of specific, systematic methods to identify,
select, critically appraise, and synthesize research
evidence to address a particular problem in practice
(Craig & Smyth, 2012, Higgins & Green, 2008)
Synthesis or pooling of the results from several
previous studies using statistical analysis to
determine the effect of an intervention or strength of
relationships (Higgins & Green, 2008)
Systematic compilation and integration of
qualitative studies to expand understanding and
develop a unique interpretation of the studies’
findings in a selected area (Barnett-Page & Thomas,
2009, Finfgeld-Connett, 2010, Sandelowski &
Barroso, 2007)
Synthesis of findings from individual studies
conducted with a variety of methods (quantitative,
qualitative, and mixed-methods) to determine the
current knowledge in an area (Higgins & Green,
2008)
Synthesis (Sampling Frame)
Usually includes quantitative studies
with similar methodology, such as
randomized controlled trials (RCTs); can
also include meta-analyses focused on
an area of the practice problem
Includes quantitative studies with similar
methodology, such as quasiexperimental
and
experimental
studies
focused
on the
effect
of an
intervention
or
correlational
studies
focused
on
relationships
Uses original qualitative studies and
summaries of qualitative studies to
produce the synthesis
Synthesis of a variety of quantitative,
qualitative, and mixed-methods studies
Qualitative research synthesis is the process and product of systematically reviewing and formally integrating the
findings from qualitative studies (Sandelowski & Barroso, 2007). The process for synthesizing qualitative research is
still evolving, and a variety of synthesis methods have appeared in the literature (Barnett-Page & Thomas, 2009,
Finfgeld-Connett, 2010, Higgins & Green, 2008). In this text, the concept of meta-synthesis is used to describe the
process for synthesizing qualitative research. Meta-synthesis is defined as the systematic compilation and integration
of qualitative study results to expand understanding and develop a unique interpretation of study findings in a selected
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Type of
Analysis
for
Achieving
Synthesis
Narrative
and
statistical
Statistical
Narrative
Narrative
PMUnderstanding Nursing Research
area. The focus is on interpretation rather than on combining study results, as with quantitative research synthesis (see
Table 1-4). The process for critically appraising a meta-synthesis is discussed in Chapter 13.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, nurse researchers have conducted mixed-methods studies that include quantitative and
qualitative research methods (Creswell, 2014). In addition, determining the current research evidence in an area might
require synthesizing quantitative and qualitative studies. Higgins and Green (2008) refer to this synthesis of
quantitative, qualitative, and mixed- methods studies as a mixed-methods systematic review (see Table 1-4). Mixedmethods
systematic
reviews
might
include
a
variety
of study
designs,
such
as
qualitative
research
and
quasiexperimental,
correlational,
and/or
descriptive
studies
(Higgins
&
Green,
2008).
Some
researchers
have
conducted
syntheses
of quantitative
and/or
qualitative
studies,
termed
integrative
reviews
of
research.
The
value
of these
reviews
depends
on the
standards
used
to
conduct
them.
The
process
for critically
appraising
a
mixed-method
systematic
review
is
discussed
in
Chapter
13.
Levels of Research Evidence
The strength or validity of the best research evidence in an area depends on the quality and quantity of the studies that
have been conducted in an area. Quantitative studies, especially experimental studies such as the RCT, provide the
strongest research evidence (see Chapter 8). Also, the replication or repeating of studies with similar methodology
increases the strength of the research evidence generated. The levels of the research evidence are a continuum, with
the highest quality of research evidence at one end and weakest research evidence at the other (Brown, 2014, Craig &
Smyth, 2012, Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011; Figure 1-3). The systematic research reviews and meta-analyses of
high-quality experimental studies provide the strongest or best research

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