du.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Realist synthesis: illustrating the method for implementation research
Show others and affiliations
2012 (English)In: Implementation science : IS, ISSN 1748-5908, Vol. 7, no 33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Realist synthesis is an increasingly popular approach to the review and synthesis of evidence, which focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which an intervention works (or not). There are few published examples of realist synthesis. This paper therefore fills a gap by describing, in detail, the process used for a realist review and synthesis to answer the question 'what interventions and strategies are effective in enabling evidence-informed healthcare?' The strengths and challenges of conducting realist review are also considered.

METHODS: The realist approach involves identifying underlying causal mechanisms and exploring how they work under what conditions. The stages of this review included: defining the scope of the review (concept mining and framework formulation); searching for and scrutinising the evidence; extracting and synthesising the evidence; and developing the narrative, including hypotheses.

RESULTS: Based on key terms and concepts related to various interventions to promote evidence-informed healthcare, we developed an outcome-focused theoretical framework. Questions were tailored for each of four theory/intervention areas within the theoretical framework and were used to guide development of a review and data extraction process. The search for literature within our first theory area, change agency, was executed and the screening procedure resulted in inclusion of 52 papers. Using the questions relevant to this theory area, data were extracted by one reviewer and validated by a second reviewer. Synthesis involved organisation of extracted data into evidence tables, theming and formulation of chains of inference, linking between the chains of inference, and hypothesis formulation. The narrative was developed around the hypotheses generated within the change agency theory area.

CONCLUSIONS: Realist synthesis lends itself to the review of complex interventions because it accounts for context as well as outcomes in the process of systematically and transparently synthesising relevant literature. While realist synthesis demands flexible thinking and the ability to deal with complexity, the rewards include the potential for more pragmatic conclusions than alternative approaches to systematic reviewing. A separate publication will report the findings of the review.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2012. Vol. 7, no 33
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-11607DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-7-33ISI: 000311831600001PubMedID: 22515663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-11607DiVA: diva2:582710
Available from: 2013-01-06 Created: 2013-01-06 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Wallin, Lars
Medical and Health Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 78 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf