Qualitative systematic reviews of treatment burden in stroke, heart failure and diabetes: methodological challenges and solutions

Gallacher, K. et al. (2013) Qualitative systematic reviews of treatment burden in stroke, heart failure and diabetes: methodological challenges and solutions. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 13(10), (doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-10)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-13-10

Abstract

<b>Background</b> Treatment burden can be defined as the self-care practices that patients with chronic illness must perform to respond to the requirements of their healthcare providers, as well as the impact that these practices have on patient functioning and well being. Increasing levels of treatment burden may lead to suboptimal adherence and negative outcomes. Systematic review of the qualitative literature is a useful method for exploring the patient experience of care, in this case the experience of treatment burden. There is no consensus on methods for qualitative systematic review. This paper describes the methodology used for qualitative systematic reviews of the treatment burdens identified in three different common chronic conditions, using stroke as our exemplar. <p></p> <b>Methods</b> Qualitative studies in peer reviewed journals seeking to understand the patient experience of stroke management were sought. Limitations of English language and year of publication 2000 onwards were set. An exhaustive search strategy was employed, consisting of a scoping search, database searches (Scopus, CINAHL, Embase, Medline and PsycINFO) and reference, footnote and citation searching. Papers were screened, data extracted, quality appraised and analysed by two individuals, with a third party for disagreements. Data analysis was carried out using a coding framework underpinned by Normalization Process Theory (NPT). <p></p> <b>Results</b> A total of 4364 papers were identified, 54 were included in the review. Of these, 51 (94%) were retrieved from our database search. Methodological issues included: creating an appropriate search strategy; investigating a topic not previously conceptualised; sorting through irrelevant data within papers; the quality appraisal of qualitative research; and the use of NPT as a novel method of data analysis, shown to be a useful method for the purposes of this review. <p></p> <b>Conclusion</b> The creation of our search strategy may be of particular interest to other researchers carrying out synthesis of qualitative studies. Importantly, the successful use of NPT to inform a coding frame for data analysis involving qualitative data that describes processes relating to self management highlights the potential of a new method for analyses of qualitative data within systematic reviews.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Batty, Dr G and Blane, Dr David and Jani, Dr Bhautesh and Smith, Ms Fiona and Gallacher, Dr Katie and Morrison, Dr Deborah and Mair, Professor Frances and Macdonald, Dr Sara
Authors: Gallacher, K., Jani, B., Morrison, D., Macdonald, S., Blane, D., Erwin, P., May, C.R., Montori, V.M., Eton, D.T., Smith, F., Batty, G.D., and Mair, F.S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BMC Medical Research Methodology
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2288
Published Online:28 January 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Medical Research Methodology 13:10
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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