Five common pitfalls in mixed methods systematic reviews – lessons learned

Lizarondo, Lucylynn, Stern, Cindy, Apostolo, Joao, Carrier, Judith, de Borges, Kelli, Godfrey, Christina, Kirkpatrick, Pamela, Pollock, Danielle, Rieger, Kendra, Salmond, Susan, Vandyk, Amanda and Loveday, Heather ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2259-8149 (2022) Five common pitfalls in mixed methods systematic reviews – lessons learned. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. ISSN 0895-4356

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Abstract

Objective
Mixed methods systematic reviews (MMSR) combine quantitative and qualitative evidence within a single review. Since the revision of the JBI Methodology for MMSRs in 2020, there has been an increasing number of reviews published that claim to follow this approach. A preliminary examination of these indicated that authors frequently deviated from the methodology. This paper outlines five common ‘pitfalls’ associated with undertaking MMSR and provides direction for future reviewers attempting MMSR.

Methods
Forward citation tracking identified 17 reviews published since the revision of the JBI mixed methods methodological guidance. Methods used in these reviews were then examined against the JBI methodology to identify deviations.

Results
The issues identified related to the rationale for choosing the methodological approach; incorrect synthesis and integration approach chosen to answer the review question/s posed; the exclusion of primary mixed methods studies in the review; the lack of detail regarding the process of data transformation and a lack of ‘mixing’ of the quantitative and qualitative components.

Conclusion
This exercise was undertaken to assist systematic reviewers considering conducting a MMSR as well as MMSR users to identify potential areas where authors tend to deviate from the methodological approach. Based on these findings a series of recommendations are provided.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mixed methods systematic review, evidence synthesis, mixed methods review methodology, systematic review, mixed methods research, research methodology
Subjects: Medicine and health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Heather Loveday
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2022 10:01
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2022 10:01
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8919

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