Practical Strategies in Conducting a Qualitative Meta-Synthesis
Keywords:qualitative research,, meta-synthesis, meta-narrative, research synthesis
As qualitative research production continues to increase worldwide, it is important to synthesize it. Although there have been some attempts to structure the best ways to synthesize qualitative research, steps provided so far in the literature may not be user-friendly for novice qualitative researchers. This paper defines meta-synthesis, the qualitative research design used to systematically synthesize an existing body of research. The paper provides different orientations of meta-synthesis, as well as a step-by-step guide in conducting a meta-synthesis. This paper is meant to generate more interest and discussion on this less-used and yet much needed qualitative research design. The discussion generated should help improve the practice of meta-synthesis in general. With this knowledge, more qualitative research may be systematically synthesized to help orient new directions of inconclusive research. Expertise in meta-synthesis can also help generate more informed practical guidelines needed by different policymakers and practitioners in their respective fields. Such a contribution would take the relevance of qualitative research one step higher. Last, more systematic synthesis of primary qualitative research studies can help generate new theories or strengthen existing ones.