Skip to main content


Table 1 Summary table

From: Methods for the synthesis of qualitative research: a critical review

  Idealist Realist
Searching Iterative Linear
Quality assessment Less clear, less a priori; quality of content rather than method Clear and a priori
Problematizing the literature Yes No
Question Explore Answer
Heterogeneity Lots Little
Synthetic product Complex Clear for policy makers and practitioners
  1. N.B.: In terms of the above dimensions, it is generally a question of degree rather than of absolute distinctions.