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Which review is that? A guide to review types

A typology of literature reviews

Critical Interpretive Synthesis


"Critical interpretive synthesis involves an iterative approach to refining the research question and searching and selecting from the literature (using theoretical sampling) and defining and applying codes and categories. It also has a particular approach to appraising quality, using relevance – i.e. likely contribution to theory development – rather than methodological characteristics as a means of determining the 'quality' of individual papers" (Barnett-Page et al, 2009).


Further Reading/Resources

Depraetere, J., Vandeviver, C., Keygnaert, I., & Beken, T. V. (2021). The critical interpretive synthesis: an assessment of reporting practices. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 24(6), 669-689. Full Text

Dixon-Woods, M., Cavers, D., Agarwal, S., Annandale, E., Arthur, A., Harvey, J., ... & Sutton, A. J. (2006). Conducting a critical interpretive synthesis of the literature on access to healthcare by vulnerable groups. BMC medical research methodology, 6(1), 1-13. Full Text


Chalmiers, M. A., Karaki, F., Muriki, M., Mody, S., Chen, A., & de Bocanegra, H. T. (2021). Refugee women's experiences with contraceptive care after resettlement in high-income countries: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis. Contraception. Full Text


Barnett-Page, E., & Thomas, J. (2009). Methods for the synthesis of qualitative research: a critical review. BMC medical research methodology, 9(1), 1-11. Full Text

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