International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 695–704 | Cite as

Meta-synthesis of qualitative research: the challenges and opportunities

  • Mohammed A. MohammedEmail author
  • Rebekah J. Moles
  • Timothy F. Chen
Research Article


Synthesis of qualitative studies is an emerging area that has been gaining more interest as an important source of evidence for improving health care policy and practice. In the last decade there have been numerous attempts to develop methods of aggregating and synthesizing qualitative data. Although numerous empirical qualitative studies have been published about different aspects of health care research, to date, the aggregation and syntheses of these data has not been commonly reported, particularly in pharmacy practice related research. This paper describes different methods of conducting meta-synthesis and provides an overview of selected common methods. The paper also emphasizes the challenges and opportunities associated with conducting meta-synthesis and highlights the importance of meta-synthesis in informing practice, policy and research.


Healthcare and pharmacy practice research Meta-synthesis Qualitative research Research methodology 




Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed A. Mohammed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebekah J. Moles
    • 1
  • Timothy F. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PharmacyThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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