Integrating the findings of a qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) with the findings of a review of intervention effects

Date & Time
Monday, September 4, 2023, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Workshop - training
Qualitative synthesis methods
Target audience
Review authors with an interest in integrating qualitative and effectiveness evidence
Level of difficulty

QMIG Methods Workshop
Background: Methods for qualitative evidence synthesis (QES)—a systematic review method for bringing together qualitative studies—are now well established, and decision-makers are able to access rigorous QES on issues such as patient experiences and contextual factors influencing intervention implementation. QES often generates theories and explanations about why and how interventions work. By integrating these theories with evidence on intervention effects, review teams can offer vital information to support the implementation of review findings in practice. However, the diversity of approaches for integrating QES and effectiveness syntheses can make it challenging for reviewers to understand how best to integrate. The Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group (CQIMG) develops and publishes guidance on conducting QES and integrating QES findings with evidence on intervention effects. In this CQIMG methods workshop, participants will learn to distinguish between two key integration approaches. Comparison of syntheses involves systematically comparing the QES and effectiveness synthesis findings; for example, the findings from each synthesis may be juxtaposed in a matrix, to illustrate where they are concordant and discordant and where there are gaps. Connection of syntheses involves using the findings of one synthesis (QES or effectiveness) to inform the data extraction and synthesis of a second synthesis; for example, the QES findings may be used to structure a subgroup analysis of the effectiveness data. Participants will draw on real integration examples and critically examine the diversity of methods and tools.
Objectives: By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to - recognise and appraise approaches and tools for integrations; - describe challenges, and potential opportunities, for integration; and - apply lessons learnt to their own review activity.
Description: This interactive workshop presents options for integrating QES and intervention effects data (10 minutes) using Cochrane, Campbell and other reviews as examples. Group exercises, supported by experienced facilitators, illustrate different integration methods and tools (50 minutes). Groups are encouraged to think reflectively (10 minutes) on strengths and limitations of diverse approaches. The session concludes with an open forum to address issues relating to participants’ review activity (10 minutes). Timings allow 10 minutes for flexibility.

France E1, Flemming K2
1University of Stirling, UK
2University of York, UK