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Introducing QES Methods – the Basics: Thematic Synthesis & Framework Synthesis

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Introducing QES Methods – the Basics: Thematic Synthesis & Framework Synthesis. Three QES Methods……. Their Origins. Thematic Synthesis from Thematic Analysis – assignment of themes to qualitative data (e.g. from interviews)

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their origins
Their Origins
  • Thematic Synthesis from Thematic Analysis – assignment of themes to qualitative data (e.g. from interviews)
  • Framework Synthesis from Framework Analysis – assignment of data from interviews etcetera to predefined domains of a framework
thematic synthesis
Thematic Synthesis
  • Either performed using:
    • Line as Unit of Analysis – Line-by-Line Coding – Eppi-Centre Method – Uses Qualitative Software
    • Data Extract as Unit of Analysis – Assignment of Theme(s) – Uses Data Extraction themes for data extracts
how do you create a framework
How do you create a framework?

Develop own framework or themes or concepts for coding

Oliver S et al: A multidimensional conceptual framework for analysing public involvement in health services research. Health Expectations 2008, 11:72-84.

Brunton G, Oliver S, Oliver K, Lorenc T. A Synthesis of Research Addressing Children’s, Young People’s and Parents’ Views of Walking and Cycling for Transport London. London, EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; 2006.

Identify or create a thematic framework or conceptual model

Carroll C, Booth A, Cooper K. A worked example of “best-fit” framework synthesis: A systematic review of views concerning the taking of potential chemopreventive agents, BMC Medical Research Methodology2011; 11: 29

an existing conceptual framework
An existing conceptual framework

Conrad K, et al (1996). The worksite environment as a cue to smoking reduction. Research in Nursing & Health, 19 21-31.

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Thematic synthesis

Framework synthesis

why start with these methods
Why start with these methods?
  • Simplest methods of qualitative analysis
  • Many qualitative researchers already familiar with primary research counterparts
  • Do not preclude further analysis using more “advanced” methods e.g. thematic synthesis => meta-ethnography
  • Conservative choice that accommodates most degrees of richness/thickness of qualitative data
challenges
Challenges
  • Thematic Synthesis – Creating meaningful “labels” for the themes that emerge from the data. Establishing relationships between different themes
  • Framework synthesis – Not “squeezing” data into existing categories. Requires pre-definition of what categories mean (especially if taken from published framework).