Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 11 Issue 3 (May/June 2001), Pages 167-242

Qualitative systematic review: An example from primary prevention in adult mental health (pages 193-210)


This paper describes a useful variant of the ‘systematic review’, a recent development in review ‘science’, using primary prevention in adult mental health as an illustration. Seventeen programme evaluations were identified as a result of rigorous search and inclusion criteria. The methodology of each study was then evaluated in terms of eight threats to validity, as outlined by Ellis et al. (1996). Additionally, the merits of the programmes were evaluated according to the type of study and it's outcomes. Most projects reported significant findings (N = 13), but the sample included only seven randomized controlled trials. Whilst the research status of the field appears to have improved significantly over the last two decades, because of the methodological threats, the extent of any clear economic and clinical benefits resulting from the approach have yet to be established. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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