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Table 2 Summary of characteristics of different methods of updating the analysis and synthesis in a meta-ethnography

From: Why, when and how to update a meta-ethnography qualitative synthesis

  Method of updating the analysis and synthesis in a meta-ethnography
Characteristics Extend and renovate the house (add to and revise original) Build a new house next door (do a new standalone meta-ethnography and compare to original) Knock the house down and rebuild it (start again from scratch)
Possible advantages    
 One coherent model, set of findings, conclusions (increases utility of output for end users)  
 Can lead to new conceptual insights
 Allows innovation in analysis/synthesis process in update
 No arbitrary dividing date between literature in original and updated meta-ethnographies  
 Efficient use of resource expended on original meta-ethnography  
 Facilitates comparisons between two sets of literature from different time periods    
 More easily done by a new team of reviewers  
 Can implement methodological advances in meta-ethnography/qualitative reviewing   
 Can improve quality and utility of poor quality original meta-ethnography   
 Suitable if you have revised review question or study selection criteria   
Possible disadvantages    
 Challenging for a new team of reviewers   
 Update findings might be influenced by original findings, especially if done by original reviewers
 Can minimise influence of findings from original meta-ethnography, especially if done by new reviewers   
 Lack of established methods for updating original analysis/synthesis   
 More likely to have large number of articles to synthesise (>40 is challenging)