Your collected data must be combined into a coherent whole and accompanied by an analysis that conveys a deeper understanding of the body of evidence. All reviews should include a qualitative synthesis, and may or may not include a quantitative synthesis (also known as a meta-analysis).
A qualitative synthesis is a narrative, textual approach to summarizing, analyzing, and assessing the body of evidence included in your review. It is a necessary part of all systematic reviews, even those with a focus on quantitative data.
Use the qualitative synthesis to:
A quantitative synthesis, or meta-analysis, uses statistical techniques to combine and analyze the results of multiple studies. The feasibility and sensibility of including a meta-analysis as part of your systematic review will depend on the data available.
Requirements for quantitative synthesis: