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Archive for Evidence Synthesis of QUalItative Research in Europe (ESQUIRE11) Methods Workshop on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis 


*  The third ESQUIRE Methods Workshop on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis(ESQUIRE11) was held at the Edge, Sheffield from Tuesday 6 September 2011-Thursday 8 September 2011 in Sheffield, UK. *

ESQUIRE12 is currently being planned for Tuesday 4th September 2012-Thursday 6th September 2012 

*                                                                                                                                                                *


This is a site to support the Evidence Synthesis of QUalItative Research in Europe (ESQUIRE) Methods Workshops on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis [Co-ordinated by the Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group]


Overview of the course:

This course is designed to provide participants with a state-of-the art perspective on the methodology of qualitative systematic reviews (qualitative evidence syntheses). It will focus on methods that feature in the forthcoming guidance of the Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group but will also incorporate a broader perspective on available methods of qualitative synthesis.


Suitable for:

  • Qualitative Researchers who want to learn how to synthesise qualitative research
  • Systematic Reviewers who want to learn how to translate synthesis methods to qualitative data
  • PhD Students in topic areas that will require substantive review of qualitative research
  • New researchers who want to develop evidence synthesis/systematic review
  • Qualitative systematic reviewers who want to update and extend their skills and knowledge


Expected outcomes of this Programme:

By the end of this programme participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the main methods of evidence synthesis in terms of their strengths and weaknesses
  2. Rehearse the stages of the systematic review process, specifically in relation to the methodological challenges associated with synthesis of qualitative evidence
  3. Distinguish between aggregative and interpretive approaches to qualitative evidence synthesis
  4. Identify circumstances under which framework analysis or grounded theory-based approaches to synthesis are most appropriate
  5. Describe the requirements for presenting data and disseminating the findings of qualitative evidence syntheses, both as standard-alone reviews and when integrating with the outputs of quantitative systematic reviews.


Overview of content:

The course will follow the main steps of the systematic review process as it applies, and is adapted to, qualitative evidence syntheses. The Programme Faculty will take participants through the stages of defining and exploring scope, conducting the literature searches, quality assessing studies for inclusion, synthesising data and writing up and presenting the product of the synthesis. The emphasis will be on those aspects of methods that either relate specifically to qualitative evidence synthesis or that need to be translated or adapted in order to meet new methodological challenges. Participants will be provided with an excellent overview of current methods of qualitative evidence synthesis together with practical experience of key stages in the review process.


Pre course requirements

No formal experience is required. A working knowledge of standard systematic review methods will be an advantage – alternatively participants would find it helpful to read Systematic Reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care (http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/systematic_reviews_book.htmprior to the course. A background in qualitative research methodologies would be advantageous but is not essential .



The Edge Conference Centre, Sheffield

Overview of Course Structure:


Day One         6th September 2011

13:00 p.m. – 17:00 p.m. - Introduction and Overview plus Focusing the Question and Searching


Day Two         7th September 2011

09:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m - Data Extraction and Quality Assessment

13:30 p.m. – 17:00 p.m. – Analysis, Synthesis and Writing Up


Day Three      8th September 2011

10:00 a.m. – 15:30 p.m - Issues & Challenges for Qualitative Research in Evidence Synthesis (InCQuiRES) - Sheffield, UK



Day One – Tuesday 6th September 201112:00 p.m. – 17:00 p.m. Overview, Focusing the Question and Searching 

13:00 Introduction and Overview

Mr Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University ofSheffield, & Co-Convenor – Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group (CCQMG) [Slides]


13:30 Focusing the Question

Ms Janet Harris, Lecturer in Public Health (Management & Leadership) School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield & Co-Convenor – Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group (CCQMG) [Slides] [Handout]


14:15 Planning Your Review

Mr Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, ScHARR, & Co-Convenor – CCQMG [Slides]


15:15 Searching for Qualitative Evidence

Ms. Helen Buckley-Woods, Information Specialist at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield. [Slides]


16:00 Using Filters and Supplementary Methods

Ms. Helen Buckley-Woods, Information Specialist at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University ofSheffield.  [Slides]


16:45 Summary of the Day

Mr Andrew Booth 


Day Two - Wednesday 7th September - 9.30am to 5pm Data Extraction, Quality Assessment, Synthesis and Writing Up

09:30 a.m. Challenges of Data Extraction

Dr Myfanwy Lloyd-Jones, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield [Slides]


09:50 a.m. Data Extraction Practical

Dr Myfanwy Lloyd-Jones, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield


11:15 a.m. Quality Assessment - Practical

Mr Andrew Booth & Dr Myfanwy Lloyd-Jones [Slides]

Extra Resource - Checklist for Quan/Qual Studies


13:30 p.m. – 16:30 p.m. Analysis and Synthesis


13:30 Case Study - Factors relating to the uptake of interventions for smoking cessation amongst pregnant women:a systematic review and qualitative synthesis

Dr Susan Baxter, Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield. [Slides]


14:15 Synthesis Practical

Dr Chris Carroll, Senior Lecturer in Health Technology Assessment, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University ofSheffield. [Slides]


15:20 Integrating Your Data Practical

Mr Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, ScHARR, University of Sheffield, & Co-Convenor – CCQRMG [Slides]

Supplementary Exercise 


16:30 Writing Up and Dissemination

Mr Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, ScHARR, University of Sheffield, & Co-Convenor – CCQRMG [Slides]


19:00 Course Dinner


Day Three – 8th September 2011 - 10am to 3.30pm

Issues & Challenges for Qualitative Research in Evidence Synthesis (InCQuiRES) - SheffieldUK


10:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction to the Day

Andrew Booth, Co-Convenor – Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group (CCQMG)


10:15 a.m. Issues and Challenges around Scoping and Focusing the Question

Janet Harris, Lecturer in Public Health (Management & Leadership), ScHARR, University of Sheffield & Co-Convenor – CCQMG [Slides]


11:00 a.m. Issues and Challenges around Searching the Literature

Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, ScHARR, University of Sheffield & Co-Convenor – CCQMG [Slides]


11:50 Issues and Challenges around Synthesising Qualitative Research

Professor Jane Noyes, Director of Centre for Health-Related Research (CheRR), BangorUniversity, & Lead Convenor – Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group[Slides]


Afternoon Session: Synthesis and Integration

Chair: Janet Harris, Co-Convenor – Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group

13:30 Issues and Challenges around Assessing Qualitative Research

Dr. Karin Hannes, Doctor-Assistant, Centre for Methodology of Educational Research - Belgian Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven & Co-Convenor – CCQMG [Slides]


14:15 Issues and Challenges around Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Professor Angela HardenProfessor of Community and Family Health, University of East London & Co-Convenor – CCQMG[Slides] [Session Bibliography]


15:00 Methodological Roundtable Discussion

Andrew Booth, Karin Hannes, Angela Harden, Janet Harris, & Jane Noyes


15:20 The Way Forward – Taking Your Interest Further 

Jane Noyes & Janet Harris


15:30 Close 


Select Bibliography



Further Information


ASQUS Discussion List

Cochrane Handbook - Chapter 20: Qualitative research and Cochrane reviews. Noyes J, Popay J, Pearson A, Hannes K and Booth A on behalf of the Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group. Copyright © 2008 The Cochrane Collaboration.

Cochrane Qualitative Evidence Synthesis Register
Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group 

Tools to Assist Qualitative Reviewers



CRD Undertaking Systematic Reviews - Chapter 6 on Incorporating qualitative evidence in or alongside effectiveness reviews

Exemplar: 'Medication career' or 'Moral career'? The two sides of managing antidepressants: A metaethnography of patients' experience of antidepressants


Email: Andrew Booth


An Archive of the materials from ESQUIRE2009 and ESQUIRE2010 is also available. 


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