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Qualitative Methods, Trials and Systematic Reviews

Edited by: Prof David Gough (Systematic Reviews) and Dr Claire Snowdon (Trials)

The two sister-journals, Trials and Systematic Reviews, have, on the face of it, different readerships and deal with different issues. In both journals there is, however, a common and growing interest in the contribution of qualitative methods. We are seeing an expansion of the use and application of a range of techniques with entry into novel research areas and pursuit of new lines of inquiry. Our contributors are working within specific methods, with mixed methods, and across paradigms.

This special issue covers these innovative and challenging areas, with the aim of sharing methodological practice, findings and reflections to drive forward and further the respective fields.

  1. Content type: Research

    Systematic reviews of qualitative and quantitative evidence can provide a rich understanding of complex phenomena. This type of review is increasingly popular, has been used to provide a landscape of existing ...

    Authors: Quan Nha Hong, Pierre Pluye, Mathieu Bujold and Maggy Wassef

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2017 6:61

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  2. Content type: Research

    Complex or heterogeneous data pose challenges for systematic review and meta-analysis. In recent years, a number of new methods have been developed to meet these challenges. This qualitative interview study ai...

    Authors: Theo Lorenc, Lambert Felix, Mark Petticrew, G J Melendez-Torres, James Thomas, Sian Thomas, Alison O’Mara-Eves and Michelle Richardson

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2016 5:192

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  3. Content type: Research

    Overviews of reviews (overviews) compile data from multiple systematic reviews to provide a single synthesis of relevant evidence for decision-making. Despite their increasing popularity, there is limited meth...

    Authors: Michelle Pollock, Ricardo M. Fernandes, Lorne A. Becker, Robin Featherstone and Lisa Hartling

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2016 5:190

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  4. Content type: Research

    The development and use of core outcome sets (COSs) in trials may improve data synthesis and reduce outcome reporting bias. The selection of outcomes in COSs is informed by views of key stakeholders, yet littl...

    Authors: Shelley Potter, Sara T. Brookes, Christopher Holcombe, Joseph A. Ward and Jane M. Blazeby

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:463

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  5. Content type: Research

    Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) often fail to recruit sufficient participants, despite altruism being cited as their motivation. Previous investigations of factors influencing participation decisions have ...

    Authors: Natalie Bidad, Lindsay MacDonald, Zoë E. Winters, Sarah J. L. Edwards, Marie Emson, Clare L. Griffin, Judith Bliss and Rob Horne

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:431

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  6. Content type: Research

    We explored the views of key stakeholders to identify the ethical challenges of pragmatic trials investigating pharmaceutical drugs. A secondary aim was to capture stakeholders’ attitudes towards the implement...

    Authors: Shona Kalkman, Ghislaine J. M. W. van Thiel, Diederick E. Grobbee, Anna-Katharina Meinecke, Mira G. P. Zuidgeest and Johannes J. M. van Delden

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:419

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  7. Content type: Methodology

    Despite the growing popularity of mixed-methods studies and considerable emphasis on the potential value of qualitative research to the trial endeavour, there remains a dearth of published studies reporting on...

    Authors: Jill Russell, Lee Berney, Stephen Stansfeld, Doris Lanz, Sally Kerry, Tarani Chandola and Kamaldeep Bhui

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:396

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  8. Content type: Research

    This descriptive study aimed to investigate adolescents’ motivations for participating in a randomised controlled trial (RCT), to explore the understanding that the young people had regarding a number of aspec...

    Authors: Nick Midgley, Danny Isaacs, Katharina Weitkamp and Mary Target

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:364

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  9. Content type: Research

    Few studies have explored in depth the experiences of patients with advanced cancer who are participating in clinical investigational medicinal product trials. However, integrated qualitative studies in such t...

    Authors: Emily Harrop, Simon Noble, Michelle Edwards, Stephanie Sivell, Barbara Moore and Annmarie Nelson

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:329

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  10. Content type: Research

    Clinical trials oversight by a Trial Steering Committee (TSC) is mandated by Good Clinical Practice. This study used qualitative methods to explore the role and valued attributes of the TSC to inform planned u...

    Authors: Anne Daykin, Lucy E. Selman, Helen Cramer, Sharon McCann, Gillian W. Shorter, Matthew R. Sydes, Carrol Gamble, Rhiannon Macefield, J. Athene Lane and Alison Shaw

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:307

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  11. Content type: Research

    Hope has therapeutic value because it enables people to cope with uncertainty about their future health. Indeed, hope, or therapeutic optimism (TO), is seen as an essential aspect of the provision and experien...

    Authors: Nina Hallowell, Claire Snowdon, Susan Morrow, Jane E. Norman, Fiona C. Denison and Julia Lawton

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:267

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  12. Content type: Methodology

    Core outcome sets (COS) help to minimise bias in trials and facilitate evidence synthesis. Delphi surveys are increasingly being used as part of a wider process to reach consensus about what outcomes should be...

    Authors: T. Keeley, P. Williamson, P. Callery, L. L. Jones, J. Mathers, J. Jones, B. Young and M. Calvert

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:230

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  13. Content type: Research

    Interventions to improve medication adherence are diverse and complex. Consequently, synthesizing this evidence is challenging. We aimed to extend the results from an existing systematic review of intervention...

    Authors: Leila Kahwati, Meera Viswanathan, Carol E. Golin, Heather Kane, Megan Lewis and Sara Jacobs

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2016 5:83

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  14. Content type: Methodology

    Systematic reviews evaluating complex interventions often encounter substantial clinical heterogeneity in intervention components and implementation features making synthesis challenging. Qualitative comparati...

    Authors: Leila Kahwati, Sara Jacobs, Heather Kane, Megan Lewis, Meera Viswanathan and Carol E. Golin

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2016 5:82

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  15. Content type: Research

    Challenges exist in recruitment to trials involving interventions delivered by different clinical specialties. Collaboration is required between clinical specialty and research teams. The aim of this study was...

    Authors: Sean Strong, Sangeetha Paramasivan, Nicola Mills, Caroline Wilson, Jenny L. Donovan and Jane M. Blazeby

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:212

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  16. Content type: Research

    Recruiting and consenting women to peripartum trials can be challenging as the women concerned may be anxious, in pain, and exhausted; there may also be limited time for discussion and decision-making to occur...

    Authors: Julia Lawton, Claire Snowdon, Susan Morrow, Jane E. Norman, Fiona C. Denison and Nina Hallowell

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:195

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  17. Content type: Research

    Trials in primary care to increase physical activity (PA) typically experience poor recruitment rates and may not recruit those with lower PA levels and who are most in need of the intervention. Despite the we...

    Authors: Rebecca Normansell, Rebecca Holmes, Christina Victor, Derek G Cook, Sally Kerry, Steve Iliffe, Michael Ussher, Julia Fox-Rushby, Peter Whincup and Tess Harris

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:178

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  18. Content type: Research

    Surgical trials have typically experienced recruitment difficulties when compared with other types of oncology trials. Qualitative studies have an important role to play in exploring reasons for low recruitmen...

    Authors: Emily Harrop, John Kelly, Gareth Griffiths, Angela Casbard and Annmarie Nelson

    Citation: Trials 2016 17:35

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