Can a meta-ethnography be updated by different reviewers? Reflections from a recent update

Germeni, E. , Garside, R., Frost, J., Rogers, M. and Britten, N. (2021) Can a meta-ethnography be updated by different reviewers? Reflections from a recent update. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, p. 16094069211046431. (doi: 10.1177/16094069211046431)

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Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of published meta-ethnographies. Yet, strategies and techniques for updating have not received the same attention, rendering answers to important methodological questions still elusive. One such question has to do with who can perform an update. Although it is not uncommon for quantitative systematic reviews and statistical meta-analyses to be updated by different reviewers, qualitative synthesists might find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, as meta-ethnography constitutes an interpretation three times removed from the lived experience of the participants in the original studies, it could be argued that an update by different reviewers might add an extra layer of interpretation. By comparison, updating by the same reviewers could give rise to concerns about the robustness of updated findings, as an implicit drive for making new data fit the original work might be difficult to control for. We recently reported the findings of our attempt to update an earlier meta-ethnography of primary care antibiotic prescribing, conducted by a different team of reviewers. In this article, we wish to contribute to the emerging debate on the necessity of promoting a culture of updating in qualitative evidence synthesis, by discussing some of the practical and methodological issues we considered at each stage of the process and offering lessons learnt from our experience.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Evi Germeni was supported by an Advanced Postdoc Mobility grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (P300P1_164574). Ruth Garside, Morwenna Rogers, and Nicky Britten were partially supported by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Germeni, Dr Evi
Authors: Germeni, E., Garside, R., Frost, J., Rogers, M., and Britten, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
Journal Name:International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1609-4069
Published Online:07 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Qualitative Methods 20: 16094069211046431
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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