By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Improving reporting of Meta-Ethnography: the eMERGe Reporting Guidance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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  • Emma France
  • Maggie Cunningham
  • Nicola Ring
  • Isabelle Uny
  • Edward Duncan
  • Ruth Jepson
  • Margaret Maxwell
  • Rachel Roberts
  • Ruth Turley
  • Jane Noyes
  • Andrew Booth
  • Nicky Britten
  • Ian Gallagher
  • Ruth Garside
  • Karin Hannes
  • Simon Lewin
  • George Noblit
  • Catherine Pope
  • James Thomas
  • Meredith Vanstone


Publication details

JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - May 2019
Issue number5
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1126-1139
Early online date15/01/19
Original languageEnglish


Aims: The aim of this study was to provide guidance to improve the completeness and clarity of meta-ethnography reporting. Background: Evidence-based policy and practice require robust evidence syntheses which can further understanding of people's experiences and associated social processes. Meta-ethnography is a rigorous seven-phase qualitative evidence synthesis methodology, developed by Noblit and Hare. Meta-ethnography is used widely in health research, but reporting is often poor quality and this discourages trust in and use of its findings. Meta-ethnography reporting guidance is needed to improve reporting quality. Design: The eMERGe study used a rigorous mixed-methods design and evidence-based methods to develop the novel reporting guidance and explanatory notes. Methods: The study, conducted from 2015 - 2017, comprised of: (1) a methodological systematic review of guidance for meta-ethnography conduct and reporting; (2) a review and audit of published meta-ethnographies to identify good practice principles; (3) international, multidisciplinary consensus-building processes to agree guidance content; (4) innovative development of the guidance and explanatory notes. Findings: Recommendations and good practice for all seven phases of meta-ethnography conduct and reporting were newly identified leading to 19 reporting criteria and accompanying detailed guidance. Conclusion: The bespoke eMERGe Reporting Guidance, which incorporates new methodological developments and advances the methodology, can help researchers to report the important aspects of meta-ethnography. Use of the guidance should raise reporting quality. Better reporting could make assessments of confidence in the findings more robust and increase use of meta-ethnography outputs to improve practice, policy, and service user outcomes in health and other fields. This is the first tailored reporting guideline for meta-ethnography. This article is being simultaneously published in the following journals: Journal of Advanced Nursing, Psycho-oncology, Review of Education, and BMC Medical Research Methodology.

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Authors. This article is being simultaneously published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, Psycho‐oncology, Review of Education and BMC Medical Research Methodology. The article followed a double‐blind peer‐review model managed by the Journal of Advanced Nursing, and the editors from each of the journals in question consolidated on the decision process.

    Research areas

  • guideline, meta-ethnography, nursing, publication standards, qualitative evidence synthesis, qualitative research, reporting, research design, systematic review

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