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Table 2 Quality assessment

From: ‘Groping through the fog’: a metasynthesis of women's experiences on VBAC (Vaginal birth after Caesarean section)

Domain 1: Research team and reflexivity
1. Statement of which author/s conducted the interview or focus group*
2. List of the researchers’ credentials, e.g., PhD, MD*
3. Statement of their occupation at the time of the study*
4. Indication of the gender of the researcher(s)*
5. Statement of relevant experience or training that researcher(s) had*
6. Statement of any relationship established between participants and researchers prior to study start*
7. Statement of participant knowledge of the interviewer*
8. Evidence of self-awareness/insight in the characteristics reported about the interviewer/facilitator: e.g., assumptions, bias, reasons for or interest in the research topic*
Domain 2: Scope and purpose*
9. Link between research and existing knowledge demonstrated*
10. A clear aim for the study was stated*
Domain 3: study design
11. A clear methodological orientation was stated to underpin the study e.g. grounded theory, discourse analysis, ethnography, phenomenology, content analysis*
12. Ethical committee approval granted*
13. Documentation of how autonomy, consent, confidentiality etc. were managed*
14. Description of how participants were selected: e.g. purposive, convenience, consecutive, snowball*
15. Description of method of approach e.g. face-to-face, telephone, mail/email*
16. Sample size: number of participants in the study declared*
17. Number of people who refused to participate or dropped out given, with reasons*
18. Description of setting of data collection e.g. home, clinic, workplace*
19. Declaration of presence of non-participants, if applicable*
20. Description of important characteristics of the sample e.g., demographic data, date data collected*
21. Description of interview guide given e.g., questions, prompts, guides, and any pilot testing*
22. Number of repeat interviews given, if applicable*
23. Statements of audio/visual recording or not*
24. Statements of whether or not fields notes were used*
25. Duration of interviews or focus group given*
26. Evidence provided that the data reached saturation or discussion/rationale if they did not*
27. Statements of whether or not transcripts were returned to participants for comment and/or correction*
Domain 4: analysis and findings
28. Number of data coders given/evidence of more than one researcher involved*
29. Description provided of the coding tree/discussion of how coding system evolved*
30. Statement of whether themes were identified in advance or derived from the data*
31. Statement of manual analysis, or the software that was used to manage the data*
32. Statement of whether or not participants provided feedback on the findings*
33. Statements of whether or not deviant data were sought, if applicable*
34. Statement of whether or not researchers “dwelt with the data”, interrogating if for alternative explanations of phenomena*
35. Sufficient discussion of research processes such that others can follow ‘decision trail’*
36. Identified participant quotations (e.g. by participant number) presented to illustrate the themes/findings*
37. Consistency seen between the data presented in the findings*
38. Major themes clearly presented in the findings*
39. Description given of diverse cases or minor themes*
40. The results are presented with an essence (phenomenology), main interpretation (hermeneutics), theory/main concepts (grounded theory), main theme (content analysis)*
41. Evidence of systematic location and inclusion of literature and theory to contextualize findings*
Domain 5: Relevance and transferability
42. Clearly resonates with other knowledge and experience*
43. Provides new insights and increases understanding*
44. Limitations/weaknesses clearly outlined*
45. Further directions for investigation outlined*
  1. *Yes, no or not applicable