These videos, originally part of the Qualitative Evidence Synthesis (QES) & Learning Live webinar series, focus on thematic synthesis, one of Cochrane’s recommended methods of qualitative evidence synthesis, which has been used to synthesise qualitative evidence across a wide range of policy and practice topics. Thematic synthesis offers a flexible, systematic and transparent method to move from the findings of multiple qualitative studies to synthesis.
The webinar began by outlining the key features of thematic synthesis and how it relates to other synthesis methods. It then illustrated the steps involved using worked examples. The different ways it has been used were highlighted and the value of descriptive and analytical themes was discussed. The webinar then moved onto a discussion of rigour in thematic synthesis and key issues to consider when planning a thematic synthesis.
The webinar was delivered in February 2022 and below you will find the videos from the webinar, together with accompanying slides to download [PDF].
Part 1: Thematic synthesis: an overview of its use and features
Part 2: How to do a thematic synthesis
Professor Angela Harden is Professor of Health Sciences at City, University of London. She is a social scientist and currently leads interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborative research testing interventions tackling the wider determinants of health across the life course. She is interested in the development of both primary and systematic review methods to better develop and evaluate complex interventions and generate evidence for decision-makers. Angela also builds research capacity in applied research through her role as the Academy Director of the NIHR North Thames ARC. She has been a Co-convenor of the Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods group since 2008.
Professor James Thomas is Professor of Social Research and Policy at the UCL Social Research Institute, based in UCL Institute of Education. He is also Director of the EPPI-Centre's Reviews Facility for the Department of Health, England, which undertakes systematic reviews across a range of policy areas to support the Department. Professor Thomas specialises in developing methods for research synthesis, in particular for qualitative and mixed methods reviews and in using emerging information technologies such as machine learning in research.