Open Access Study protocol

"Research protocol: a synthesis of qualitative studies on the process of adaptation to dependency in elderly persons and their families"

Eva Abad-Corpa19*, Teresa González-Gil2, Ana M Barderas-Manchado3, Carmen de la Cuesta-Benjumea4, Olga Monistrol-Ruano5, Vinita Mahtani-Chugani67, Antonio Martínez-Hernández8 and the Group RETICEF-evidencia9

Author Affiliations

1 Research Department, Zone VI Management Vega Media del Segura, C/Marqués de los Vélez s/n, 30008 Murcia, Spain

2 Nursing Department, Health Science Faculty, Rey Juan Carlos University, Avda de Atenas s/n, 28922, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain

3 Health Research Foundation, Carlos III Health Institute, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, C/Monforte de Lemos 5, 28029, Madrid, Spain

4 Department of Nursing, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain

5 Nursing Research Area, Mútua de Terrassa University Hospital, Plaça Dr. Robert 5, 08221 Terrassa, Spain

6 Canary Islands Health Care Services, Primary Care Management Tenerife, C/Carmen Monteverde nº 45, 2ª planta, 38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

7 Spanish Network for Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Spain

8 Murcia Health Service. Dirección General de Planificación, Ordenación Sanitaria y Farmacéutica e Investigación. C/Pinares 6, 4ª planta, 30001 Murcia. Spain

9 Carlos III Health Institute. Nursing Research Coordination and Development Unit (Investen-isciii). C/Monforte de Lemos, 5. 28029 Madrid, Spain

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BMC Geriatrics 2010, 10:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-58

Published: 25 August 2010



Dealing with dependency in the elderly and their families leads us to explore the life experience of those involved together with the processes of adaptation to this condition. A number of original studies have been published which, following a qualitative methodology, have dealt with both dimensions.


Objectives: 1) To present a synthesis of the qualitative evidence available on the process of adaptation to dependency in elderly persons and their families; 2) to conduct an in-depth study into the experiences and strategies developed by both to optimise their living conditions; 3) to enable standards of action/intervention to be developed in the caregiving environment.

A synthesis of qualitative studies is projected with an extensive and inclusive bibliography search strategy. The primary search will focus on the major databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, PSICODOC, Cochrane Library, JBI, EMBASE, LILACS, CUIDEN, CUIDEN qualitative, CUIDATGE, British Nursing Index, SSCI). The secondary search will be conducted in articles taken from the references to studies identified in the articles and reports and the manual search in congresses and foundation papers. Article quality will be assessed by the guide proposed by Sandelowski & Barroso and data extraction done using the QARI data extraction form proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute for Evidence-Based Practice.

The synthesis of the findings will be based on the principles and procedures of grounded theory: coding, identification and relationship between categories, and synthesis using constant comparison as a strategy.


This synthesis of qualitative evidence will enable us to detect health needs as perceived by the receivers in their own interaction contexts.