Andrew Soundy, Nicola Heneghan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Qualitative review procedures have developed significantly over the past 30 years; meta-ethnography being one. Meta-ethnography was originally located within an interpretivist world view and aimed at reviewing small numbers of qualitative studies, often involving small sample sizes. One of the defining features of meta-ethnography is that of theory generating. Whilst developed within healthcare literature, where particular procedures and processes are evident it is suited to the discipline of sports and exercise psychology. A notable gap in the healthcare literature is how meta-ethnographies honour ethnographies honour the theory generation. In order to apply the meta-ethnographic procedures, researchers need to appreciate the origins of the techniques, be aware of the impact of philosophical worldviews and critically appreciate the 7 prescribed stages. This paper seeks to; (a) provide a background to the area and overview of past meta-ethnographies within sport and exercise psychology, (b) identify the strengths and weaknesses of the approach, (c) provide a justification of assuming a social constructivist paradigmatic view to meta-ethnography, (d) provide an analysis of the 7 stages with clarity for a social constructivist and (c) provide directions for future application of meta-ethnography in sports and exercise psychology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Aug 2021


  • meta-ethnography
  • qualitative
  • qualitative analysis
  • review


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