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OP119 Appraising Qualitative Research For Qualitative Evidence Syntheses

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2019

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The growth of the evidence-based policy movement sought to determine how to better assess and incorporate qualitative evidence in clinical practice and policy development. The question engendered was not whether qualitative research is valuable but how researchers can enhance its rigor. From this discussion arose over one hundred appraisal tools for the quality appraisal process of qualitative studies. For those without a deep familiarity with the qualitative research paradigm, navigating through the breadth of tools to find the most suitable tool for the task is a cumbersome process. This presentation will review the descriptive characteristics of available quality appraisal tools for assessing the quality of primary qualitative studies in qualitative evidence syntheses (QES). This presentation will also offer a critical discussion on the use of reflexivity as a de facto quality criterion, and how methodological reporting may influence the application of quality criteria in QES.


We conducted a systematic search to identify quality appraisal tools of qualitative research designed for use in QES. This search built upon the work of Santiago-Delefosse and colleagues by extending their search to 2016.


We identified eight appraisal tools intended for use in the quality appraisal process of a QES. We provide a description of the structure, content, objectives, and philosophies of tools followed by considerations concerning their historical antecedents, common patterns regarding structure, content, and purpose, and the implications of these patterns on the QES process.


Quality appraisal of qualitative research is an important step in QES, and there have been a proliferation of tools for this purpose. By providing an overview of available tools detailing their intent and strengths, this presentation will assist those engaging in QES to choose an appropriate tool for their work.

Oral Presentations
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