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Mission drift in qualitative research, or moving toward a systematic review of qualitative studies, moving back to a more systematic narrative review

By Kip Jones


The paper argues that the systematic review of qualitative research is best served by reliance upon qualitative methods themselves. A case is made for strengthening the narrative literature review and using narrative itself as a method of review. A technique is proposed that builds upon recent developments in qualitative systematic review by the use of a narrative inductive method of analysis. The essence of qualitative work is described. The natural ability for issues of ethnicity and diversity to be investigated through a qualitative approach is elaborated. Recent developments in systematic review are delineated, including the Delphi and Signal and Noise techniques, inclusion of grey literature, scoping studies and meta-ethnography. A narrative inductive interpretive method to review qualitative research is proposed, using reflective teams to analyse documents. Narrative is suggested as a knowledge-generating method and its underlying hermeneutic approach is defended as providing validity and theoretical structure. Finally, qualities that distinguish qualitative research from more quantitative investigations are delineated. Starting points for reflecting on qualitative studies and their usefulness are listed. Key words: Qualitative Systematic Review, Evidence-Based Policy, Grey Literature, Scoping Studies, Delphi, ‘Signal and Noise’, Meta-ethnography, Narrative Review, Narrative Method, and Reflective Teams

Topics: soc
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

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