"Distorted into clarity": A methodological case study illustrating the paradox of systematic review

Margarete Sandelowski, Corrine I. Voils, Julie Barroso, Eun Jeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Systematic review is typically viewed in the health sciences as the most objective-that is, rigorous, transparent, and reproducible-method for summarizing the results of research. Yet, recent scholarship has shown systematic review to involve feats of interpretation producing less certain, albeit valuable, results. We found this to be the case when we tried to overcome the resistance to synthesis of a set of qualitative and quantitative findings on stigma in HIV-positive women. These findings were difficult to combine largely because of fuzzy conceptualizations of stigma and the volume of unique quantitative findings. Our encounter with findings resistant to synthesis heightened our awareness of the extent to which all systematic reviews are accomplished by practices that paradoxically "distort [research findings] into clarity."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-465
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

Keywords

  • HIV-positive women
  • Qualitative research synthesis
  • Quantitative research synthesis
  • Research methods
  • Research synthesis
  • Stigma
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '"Distorted into clarity": A methodological case study illustrating the paradox of systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this