Meta-ethnography
Reporting Guidance

What is Meta-ethnography

Meta-ethnography is a respected, thorough qualitative synthesis method in which researchers select,  analyse and interpret qualitative studies to answer focused questions on a specific topic (e.g. people’s experiences of having and being treated for arthritis) to come up with new insights and conclusions.

Findings from high-quality meta-ethnographies have been used in clinical guidelines. However, the reporting quality of published meta-ethnographies varies and is often poor, especially researchers’ descriptions of what they did to arrive at their findings. Low-quality reporting means that people, such as patients, NHS staff and managers, cannot judge the quality and thoroughness of a meta-ethnography. This can lead to lack of trust in meta-ethnography findings (which could be of great benefit) meaning that they are not used to improve decisions, services and patient care. To ensure that evidence from meta-ethnographies is used, researchers must carry out quality meta-ethnographies and report them to a high standard, but there is no tailored guideline to help researchers do this. The aim of the eMERGe project is to develop a guideline to improve the way researchers report meta-ethnographies.