Qualitative Meta-Synthesis: Reflections on the Utility and Challenges in Occupational Therapy
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BACKGROUND: A qualitative meta-synthesis is an approach to synthesizing relevant findings from across qualitative studies on a particular topic using methods consistent with qualitative research. PURPOSE: Using examples of recently completed qualitative meta-synthesis projects, the purpose of this paper is to present the meta-synthesis approach; highlight the key steps, processes, and issues involved; and demonstrate its potential to advance knowledge about occupation and occupation-based practice. KEY ISSUES: The qualitative meta-synthesis approach allows us to take stock of the current state of knowledge in a given area in order to ensure that we have explored the phenomenon from different perspectives and to begin to push the field forward by allowing us to develop deeper insights and understandings. IMPLICATIONS: Despite certain limitations and challenges associated with the approach, qualitative meta-syntheses can provide new knowledge through critical analysis and interpretation to inform client, practitioner, and policy audiences.
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