A guide to reading and using systematic reviews of qualitative research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is an increasingly widespread policy momentum to increase patient-centred care and to improve quality of life outcomes within health services. Qualitative research methods are used to elicit in-depth and detailed insights into people's attitudes, beliefs, emotions and experiences - much of which may remain unspoken during clinical encounters. Questions about patients' beliefs and preferences for treatment can be addressed by qualitative research and inform evidence-based strategies for delivering patient-centred care. Systematic reviews of multiple primary qualitative studies bring together findings from different studies to offer new and more comprehensive understandings of social phenomena across various healthcare contexts and populations and are an emerging methodology in the literature including for care in chronic kidney disease. This article will provide a framework for the systematic review of qualitative research so readers can make sense of these study types and use them in clinical care and policy.


  • Allison Tong
  • Suetonia Palmer
  • Jonathan C. Craig
  • Giovanni F M Strippoli
External organisations
  • Children's Hospital At Westmead
  • University of Otago
  • University of Bari Aldo Moro
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified


  • thematic synthesis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-903
Number of pages7
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 24
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes