Synthesising research

A guide to synthesising qualitative research for researchers undertaking health technology assessments and systematic reviews


Advice on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing technologies is one aspect of the work of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS). The process of health technology assessment (HTA) is used to develop this advice and as such the needs, views and perceptions of patients are recognised as a key element of these analyses. Methods to synthesise qualitative research evidence on patient views are therefore increasingly being explored and used.

This report has been developed in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Stirling to provide those producing and using HTAs with a guide to the methods used to synthesis qualitative research. The guide provides an overview to the main methods with links to further information as an introduction to this specialist area rather than a step-by-step guide. We hope this will provide those new to HTA or new to the inclusion of patient and public needs and preferences, with sufficient information to know when to seek specialist expertise in the use of qualitative research evidence.

Further Information - Report of scoping meeting

Following publication of the report, NHS QIS hosted an event to discuss the possible establishment of a strategic alliance of organisations and groups who develop or use reviews of evidence for health and social care policy and practice. This report summarises the discussions which took place and potential issues to consider if developing such an alliance.

Scottish network for the generation and exchange of knowledge in evidence synthesis - Report of scoping meeting (PDF, 1MB)

Published Date: 21 December 2010