Overview of QESymposium Satellite Events


Institution/DepartmentQUESTS (Qualitative Research in Trials Centre)
Location [city and country]School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, Ireland
Contact person responsible for the satellite meetingCatherine Houghton (Co-chair)
Contact information (email):catherine.houghton@nuigalway.ie
Date of proposed event4th October 2019
Length of event, and start and end times


10-13.00-Qualitative analysis in trials (with break)

14-16.00- Ensuring rigorous analysis in trials (with break)

Participants / target audience (who will be invited to participate in your event; researchers, policy makers, students etc.)This workshop is suitable for health care researchers and trialists who are interested in learning about how to humanise intervention development and trial conduct by integrating rigorous qualitative approaches in to their trials.

We at QUESTS, embedded in the Health Research Board Trial Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN), are committed to the value of integrating qualitative research in trials and trial methodology. Qualitative approaches ensure that key stakeholders’ experiences and insights can be heard. The credibility and transparency of these insights require skills in qualitative data analysis and strategies to ensure the rigour of this work. This workshop aims to give researchers an introduction in to this complex process to start them on the exciting journey of qualitative analysis. The target audience includes healthcare and trial researchers with some qualitative research experience, either before or analysis stage, seeking ways to ensure the quality and rigour of their work.

We will organise and run the event at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). Established Qualitative Researchers based at NUI Galway and University of Limerick will facilitate the workshop: Linda Biesty, Maura Dowling, Pauline Meskell, Andrew Hunter, Catherine Houghton. The workshop will provide an overview of the key principles of qualitative analysis and rigour. It will also include some practical activities involving coding, analysing, demonstrating rigour and running queries through QSR NVivo, on fictitious transcripts from the “FAKE trial”.

For the symposium, we aim to create a short video outlining the day with some insights from attendees.

We will promote the event through HRB-TMRN and QUESTS active twitter accounts, website and monthly newsletter. If successful in our application for the symposium, we will acknowledge and promote the symposium under your advice and guidance.


Institution/Department CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health)
Location [city and country] Ottawa, Canada
Contact person responsible for the satellite meeting Laura Weeks
Contact information (email): lauraw@cadth.ca
Date of proposed event October 10, 2019
Length of event, and start and end times

2.5 hours (30 minute introduction, 1 hour to watch plenary, 1 hour of guided discussion)

9:30am to noon Eastern Time

Participants / target audience (who will be invited to participate in your event; researchers, policy makers, students etc.) Canadian producers in health technology assessment (HTA) including researchers, liaison officers, knowledge mobilization officers, and program development officers from CADTH 

Since 2015, CADTH has included qualitative evidence syntheses of patients’ perspectives and experiences in its health technology assessments (HTA) to ensure that decision makers have the best possible evidence base upon which to make decisions. More recently, there has been increasing demand for rapid qualitative reviews, particularly given the tight timelines necessary for policy making. We propose a qualitative evidence synthesis summit with the goal of increasing awareness among HTA producers and researchers of the role for qualitative evidence in informing policy questions, and identifying opportunities for qualitative evidence syntheses, including rapid qualitative reviews.

Our event will build on the plenary “Humanising policies and programmes – the roles of qualitative evidence”. We will begin with an introduction to the CADTH qualitative team, the syntheses we’ve conducted to date and reflections on their impact on HTAs and decision-making. We will continue by watching the live stream plenary, and follow with a facilitated discussion reflecting on implications for the use of qualitative evidence in HTA and the sorts of problems that can be addressed using qualitative evidence, including rapid qualitative reviews.

Key participants will include CADTH liaison officers and knowledge mobilization officers, who support the evidence needs of decision-makers across the country, program development officers who develop and refine topic ideas for assessment, and HTA researchers who conduct assessments.

The discussion will be facilitated by CADTH researchers and methodologists with experience conducting qualitative evidence syntheses and rapid qualitative reviews. We will prepare questions to build on the plenary and guide a facilitated discussion. Following the event, we will share a written summary of the discussion and reflections from the group with participants and members of Canadian and international HTA agencies.

WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research


World Health Organization/ Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Location [city and country]

Geneva, Switzerland

Contact person responsible for the satellite meeting

Tigest Tamrat

Contact information (email):


Date of proposed event

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Length of event, and start and end times

Lunchtime/Brown bag session (1.5 hours) ~12:30-14:00

Participants / target audience (who will be invited to participate in your event; researchers, policy makers, students etc.)

WHO personnel (including staff, consultants, and interns), and specifically targeting those involved in Guideline development

Qualitative evidence syntheses (QES) are a critical but often underutilized component of WHO Guideline development. The lack of use may stem from perceptions that QES does not have sufficient rigor or uncertainty regarding how qualitative analyses contribute to the formulation of recommendations. This session will describe the use of QES within WHO guideline development, introduce methodologies ensuring the quality of QES findings (CERQual), and provide examples of QES contributions to WHO Guideline development. The lunchtime event will be open to all WHO and aims to support and share experiences on how QES can be mainstreamed into WHO guideline development.

The session will be structured in three segments. The first segment will provide an overview of what QES are and how they fit within the overall guideline development process including evidence to decision frameworks. This introductory part will also ask participants to share any experiences they have had with using qualitative evidence in guideline development and gauge the audiences’ familiarity with and questions on the topic. The second part of the session will be a short introduction to GRADE-CERQual and how this methodology can ensure that qualitative research is held to standards of rigor as in the effectiveness reviews and their use of GRADE. This component will provide examples of how to apply CERQual and resources that can assist QES authors. Lastly, the session will conclude with concrete examples of how QES contributed to two published WHO Guidelines: 1) WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience and 2) WHO recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening. These examples will highlight how findings obtained from QES, such as the acceptability of an intervention, implementation feasibility, implications on gender and equity, contributed to the scope of the guideline development and determined the conditions that were placed on the formulated recommendations.



The Norwegian Institute for Public Health / Division for Health Services

Location [city and country]

Oslo, Norway

Contact person responsible for the satellite meeting

Heather Ames /Rigmor Berg

Contact information (email):


Date of proposed event

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Length of event, and start and end times

Workshop 9-12 am

Participants / target audience (who will be invited to participate in your event; researchers, policy makers, students etc.)

Our commissioners from the social and welfare directorates

The aim of the workshop is to introduce commissioners to qualitative evidence synthesis by asking the question, “How can we systematically answer questions about preferences, experiences, acceptability and feasibility?” The objective is that participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of what qualitative research is, the types of questions it can answer, a basic understanding of how qualitative primary studies are synthesized, a basic understanding of CERQual and an understanding of how QES can be used in their work.

The event will be organized as a workshop with a maximum of 50 participants. There will be a mix of presentations and group work to reach the goal of answering:

  1. Which questions can a qualitative evidence synthesis answer

  2. How should findings from this type of systematic review be read, understood and interpreted?

  3. How can these types of findings be used in decision making processes such as guidelines?

Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA)


Health Science and Psychology Graduate Programmes



Location [city and country]

Porto Alegre, Brazil

Contact person responsible for the satellite meeting

Airton Tetelbom Stein

Contact information (email):


Date of proposed event

October 16th 2019

Length of event, and start and end times

Workshop 8:30-17:30

Participants / target audience (who will be invited to participate in your event; researchers, policy makers, students etc.)

Graduate students from different backgrounds such as psychology, medical physicians, nurses etc

The objectives of the workshop will be to present, discuss and practice on:

  1. The roles of qualitative evidence at different stages of the policy process
  2. Qualitative evidence syntheses as a key source of evidence
  3. Using a structured and transparent evidence-to-decision framework to package evidence for decision making, and how qualitative evidence can be utilised within this
  4. Opportunities and challenges in using qualitative evidence in decision processes