1. Sheldon TA. Making evidence synthesis more useful for management and policy-making. J Health Serv Res Policy 2005;10 Suppl 1:1-5.

2. Pope C, Mays N, Popay J. Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative health evidence: a guide to methods. Maidenhead: Open University Press; 2007.

3. Sandelowski M, Barroso J. Handbook for synthesizing qualitative research. New York, NY: Springer; 2006.

4. Giacomini MK, Cook DJ, for the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. Users’ guide to the medical literature. XXIII. Qualitative research in health care. A. Are the results of the study valid? JAMA 2000;284:357-62.

5. Pope C, Mays N, editors. Qualitative research in health care. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell 2006.

6. Murtagh MJ, Thomson RG, May CR, Rapley T, Heaven BR, Graham RH, et al. Qualitative methods in a randomised controlled trial: the role of an integrated qualitative process evaluation in providing evidence to discontinue the intervention in one arm of a trial of a decision support tool. Qual Saf Health Care 2007;16:224-9.

7. Roen K, Arai L, Roberts H, Popay J. Extending systematic reviews to include evidence on implementation: methodological work on a review of community-based initiatives to prevent injuries. Soc Sci Med 2006;63:1060-71.

8. Roberts KA, Dixon-Woods M, Fitzpatrick R, Abrams KR, Jones DR. Factors affecting uptake of childhood immunisation: a Bayesian synthesis of qualitative and quantitative evidence. Lancet 2002;360 1596-9.

9. Dixon-Woods M, Cavers D, Agarwal S, Annandale E, Arthur A, Harvey J, et al. Conducting a critical interpretive synthesis of the literature on access to healthcare by vulnerable groups. BMC Med Res Methodol 2006;6:35.

10. Pawson R, Greenhalgh T, Harvey G, Walshe K. Realist synthesis: an introduction. Manchester: ESRC Research Methods Programme; 2004.

11. Pawson R, Greenhalgh T, Harvey G, Walshe K. Realist review: a new method of systematic review designed for complex policy interventions. J Health Serv Res Policy 2005;10 Suppl 1:21-34.

12. Dixon-Woods M, Agarwal S, Young B, Jones D, Sutton A. Integrative approaches to qualitative and quantitative evidence. London: NHS Health Development Agency; 2004.

13. Oliver S, Harden A, Rees R, Shepherd J, Brunton G, Garcia J, et al. An emerging framework for including different types of evidence in systematic reviews for public policy. Evaluation 2005;11:428-46.

14. Higgins JPT, Green S, (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Version 5.0.0 [updated February 2008]: The Cochrane Collaboration; 2008. Available from:

15. EPPI-Centre [Internet]. London: The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; c2008. [cited 2008 Apr 17]. Available from:

16. Dixon-Woods M, Fitzpatrick R. Qualitative research in systematic reviews. Has established a place for itself. BMJ 2001;323:765-6.

17. Evans D. Database searches for qualitative research. J Med Libr Assoc 2002;90:290–3.

18. Dixon-Woods M, Bonas S, Booth A, Jones DR, Miller T, Sutton AJ, et al. How can systematic reviews incorporate qualitative research? A critical perspective. Qualitative Research 2006;6:27-44.

19. Atkins S, Lewin S, Smith H, Engel M, Fretheim A, Volmink J. Conducting a meta-ethnography of qualitative literature: lessons learnt. BMC Med Res Methodol 2008;8:21

20. Flemming K, Briggs M. Electronic searching to locate qualitative research: evaluation of three strategies. J Adv Nurs 2007;57:95–100.

21. Grant MJ. How does your searching grow? A survey of search preferences and the use of optimal search strategies in the identification of qualitative research. Health Info Libr J 2004;21:21-32.

22. Shaw RL, Booth A, Sutton AJ, Miller T, Smith JA, Young B, et al. Finding qualitative research: an evaluation of search strategies. BMC Med Res Methodol 2004;4:5.

23. Booth A. Cochrane or cock-eyed? How should we conduct systematic reviews of qualitative research? [monograph online]. In: Qualitative Evidence-Based Practice Conference; 2001 May 14-16; Coventry University.

24. Finfgeld-Connett D. Meta-synthesis of caring in nursing. J Clin Nurs 2008;17:196-204.

25. Booth A. "Brimful of STARLITE": toward standards for reporting literature searches. J Med Libr Assoc 2006;94:421-9.

26. Oakley A. Experiments in knowing: gender and method in social sciences. Cambridge: Policy Press; 2000.

27. Sandelowski M, Docherty S, Emden C. Focus on qualitative methods. Qualitative metasynthesis: issues and techniques. Res Nurs Health 1997;20:365-71.

28. Buchanan DR. An uneasy alliance: combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. Health Educ Q 1992;19:117-35.

29. Howe K, Eisenhart M. Standards for qualitative (and quantitative) research: a prolegomenon. Educational Researcher 1990;19:2-9.

30. Seale S, Silverman D. Ensuring rigour in qualitative research. Eur J Pub Health 1997;7:389-4.

31. Murphy E, Dingwall R, Greatbatch D, Parker S, Watson P. Qualitative research methods in health technology assessment: a review of the literature. Health Technol Assess 1998;2:1-274.

32. Noyes J, Popay J. Directly observed therapy and tuberculosis: how can a systematic review of qualitative research contribute to improving services? A qualitative meta-synthesis. J Adv Nurs 2007;57:227-43.

33. Dixon-Woods M, Shaw RL, Agarwal S, Smith JA. The problem of appraising qualitative research. Qual Saf Health Care 2004;13:223-5.

34. Spencer L, Ritchie J, Lewis J, Dillon L. Quality in qualitative evaluation: a framework for assessing research evidence [monograph online]. London: Cabinet Office; 2003. Available from:

35. Boulton M, Fitzpatrick R, Swinburn C. Qualitative research in health care: II. A structured review and evaluation of studies. J Eval Clin Pract 1996;2:171-9.

36. Campbell R, Pound P, Pope C, Britten N, Pill R, Morgan M, et al. Evaluating meta-ethnography: a synthesis of qualitative research on lay experiences of diabetes and diabetes care. Soc Sci Med 2003;56:671-84.

37. Hoddinott P, Pill R. A review of recently published qualitative research in general practice. More methodological questions than answers? Fam Pract 1997;14:313-9.

38. Long AF, Godfrey M. An evaluation tool to assess the quality of qualitative research studies. Int J Soc Res Meth 2004;7:181-96.

39. Popay J, Rogers A, Williams G. Rationale and standards for the systematic review of qualitative literature in health services research. Qual Health Res 1998;8:341-51.

40. Kuper A, Reeves S, Levinson W. An introduction to reading and appraising qualitative research. BMJ 2008;337:a288.

41. Dixon-Woods M, Sutton A, Shaw R, Miller T, Smith J, Young B, et al. Appraising qualitative research for inclusion in systematic reviews: a quantitative and qualitative comparison of three methods. J Health Serv Res Policy 2007;12:42-7.

42. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP). Qualitative research: appraisal tool. 10 questions to help you make sense of qualitative research. In. Oxford: Public Health Resource Unit; 2006. p. 1-4. Available from:

43. Thomas J, Harden A. Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Med Res Methodol 2008;8:45.

44. Harden A, Brunton G, Fletcher A, Oakley A. Young people, pregnancy and social exclusion: a systematic synthesis of research evidence to identify effective, appropriate and promising approaches for prevention and support. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; 2006.

45. Rees R, Kavanagh J, Burchett H, Shepherd J, Brunton G, Harden A, et al. HIV health promotion and men who have sex with men (MSM): a systematic review of research relevant to the development and implementation of effective and appropriate interventions. London EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; 2004.

46. Dixon-Woods M, Booth A, Sutton AJ. Synthesizing qualitative research: a review of published reports. Qual Res 2007;7:375-422.

47. Nicholas DB, Globerman J, Antle BJ, McNeill T, Lach LM. Processes of metastudy: a study of psychosocial adaptation to childhood chronic health conditions. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2006;5:Article 5. Available from:

48. Walsh D, Downe S. Appraising the quality of qualitative research. Midwifery 2006;22:108-19.

49. Miller T, Bonas S, Dixon Woods M. Qualitative research on breastfeeding in the UK: a narrative review and methodological reflection. Evidence & Policy 2007;3:197-230.

50. Harden A. Critical appraisal and qualitative research: exploring sensitivity analysis [abstract]. In: ESRC Research Methods Festival; 2008 Jun 30-Jul 3; St Catherine’s College, Oxford.

51. Noblit GW, Hare RD. Meta-ethnography: synthesizing qualitative studies. London: Sage; 1988.

52. Garside R. A comparison of methods for the systematic review of qualitative research: two examples using meta-ethnography and meta-study [PhD]. Exeter: Peninsula Postgraduate Health Institute, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth; 2008.

53. Petticrew M, Roberts H. Systematic reviews in the social sciences: a practical guide. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing; 2006.

54. Britten N, Campbell R, Pope C, Donovan J, Morgan M, Pill R. Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example. J Health Serv Res Policy 2002;7:209-15.

55. Pound P, Britten N, Morgan M, Yardley L, Pope C, Daker-White G, et al. Resisting medicines: a synthesis of qualitative studies of medicine taking. Soc Sci Med 2005;61:133-55.

56. Munro SA, Lewin SA, Smith HJ, Engel ME, Fretheim A, Volmink J. Patient adherence to tuberculosis treatment: a systematic review of qualitative research. PLoS Med 2007;4:e238.

57. Attree P. Growing up in disadvantage: a systematic review of the qualitative evidence. Child Care Health Dev 2004;30:679-89.

58. Graham H, McDermott E. Qualitative research and the evidence base of policy: insights from studies of teenage mothers in the UK. J Soc Policy 2005;35:21-37.

59. Thomas J, Harden A. Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. London: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods; 2007. Report No.: NCRM Working Paper Series Number (10/07).

60. Thomas J, Sutcliffe K, Harden A, Oakley A, Oliver S, Rees R, et al. Children and healthy eating: a systematic review of barriers and facilitators. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; 2003.

61. Thomas J, Kavanagh J, Tucker H, Burchett H, Tripney J, Oakley A. Accidental injury, risk-taking behaviour and the social circumstances in which young people live: a systematic review. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London; 2007.

62. Glaser BG, Strauss AL. The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago, IL: Aldine; 1967.

63. Dixon-Woods M, Agarwal S, Jones D, Young B, Sutton A. Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: a review of possible methods. J Health Serv Res Policy 2005;10:45-53.

64. Strauss A, Corbin J. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1998.

65. Kearney MH. Enduring love: a grounded formal theory of women's experience of domestic violence. Res Nurs Health 2001;24:270-82.

66. Barroso J, Powell-Cope GM. Metasynthesis of qualitative research on living with HIV infection. Qual Health Res 2000;10:340-53.

67. Hodson R. Analyzing documentary accounts. London: Sage; 1999.

68. Yin RK. Case study research: design and methods. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1994.

69. Ragin CC. The comparative method: moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; 1987.

70. Popay J, Roberts H, Sowden A, Petticrew M, Arai L, Rodgers M, et al. Guidance on the conduct of narrative synthesis in systematic reviews. Lancaster: ESRC Research Methods Programme; 2006.

71. Thomas S, Fayter D, Misso K, Ogilvie D, Petticrew M, Sowden A, et al. Population tobacco control interventions and their effects on social inequalities in smoking: systematic review. Tob Control 2008;17:230-7.

72. Volmink J, Garner P. Directly observed therapy for treating tuberculosis. In: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003343. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003343.pub3.

73. Thomas J, Harden A, Oakley A, Oliver S, Sutcliffe K, Rees R, et al. Integrating qualitative research with trials in systematic reviews. BMJ 2004;328:1010-2.