International Journal of Research in Nursing

Unmet Needs in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Metasynthesis Protocol

Rebecca T. Disler, Anna Green, Tim Luckett, Phillip J. Newton, Sally C. Inglis, David C. Currow and Patricia M. Davidson

DOI : 10.3844/ijrnsp.2012.15.20

International Journal of Research in Nursing

Volume 3, Issue 1

Pages 15-20


Problem statement: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic progressive illness. Despite the high burden experienced by individuals in the advanced stages of illness, individuals with advanced COPD continue to have unmet needs and limited access to palliative care. This Metasynthesis seeks to describe: the barriers and facilitators care access and provision; the unmet needs of individuals with advanced COPD, their families and carers; and the experiences of health professionals. Data sources: Medline, PsychINFO, AMED, CINAHL and Sociological Abstracts were searched for articles published between 1990 and December 31st 2011. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and key words will be used to guide the search. The strategy will be reviewed by the CareSearch palliative knowledge network and a health informatics expert. Approach: Metasyntheses are increasingly used to gain new insights and understandings of complex research questions through the amalgamation of data from individual qualitative studies. The principles of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and thematic synthesis will be used to achieve consistent reporting and transparency of methods. Results: Inclusion of studies, quality assessment and allocation of free codes into EPPI-Reviewer 4 software will be carried out by two independent investigators. Auditing of random cases will be undertaken and disagreements resolved through group discussion of an expert panel. Descriptive and analytical themes will be developed through thematic synthesis and expert panel discussion. Conclusion: Qualitative data provide useful information in understanding the individual’s unique experience. Combining discrete qualitative studies provides an important opportunity to provide a voice to patients, their families and professional careers in managing advanced COPD.


© 2012 Rebecca T. Disler, Anna Green, Tim Luckett, Phillip J. Newton, Sally C. Inglis, David C. Currow and Patricia M. Davidson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.