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Applications of qualitative grounded theory methodology to investigate hearing loss: protocol for a qualitative systematic review

Ali, Yasmin H.K.; Wright, Nicola; Charnock, David; Henshaw, Helen; Hoare, Derek


Yasmin H.K. Ali

Associate Professor in Hearing Sciences


Introduction Hearing loss is a chronic condition affecting 12?million individuals in the UK. People with hearing loss regularly experience difficulties interacting in everyday conversations. These difficulties in communication can result in a person with hearing loss withdrawing from social situations and becoming isolated. While hearing loss research has largely deployed quantitative methods to investigate various aspects of the condition, qualitative research is becoming more widespread. Grounded theory is a specific qualitative methodology that has been used to establish novel theories on the experiences of living with hearing loss.

Method and analysis The aim of this systematic review is to establish how grounded theory has been applied to investigate the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss. Methods are reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2015 checklist. Studies included in this review will have applied grounded theory as an overarching methodology or have grounded theory embedded among other methodologies. Studies included will have adult participants (?18 years) who are either people with an acquired hearing loss, their family and friends (communication partners), or healthcare practitioners including audiologists, general practitioners, ear, nose and throat specialists and hearing therapists. The quality of application of grounded theory in each study will be assessed using the Guideline for Reporting and Evaluating Grounded Theory Research Studies.

Ethics and dissemination As only secondary data will be used in this systematic review, ethical approval is not required. No other ethical issues are foreseen. This review is registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews ( Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and at relevant academic conferences. Findings may also be published in relevant professional and third sector newsletters and magazines as appropriate. Data will inform future research and guideline development.


Ali, Y. H., Wright, N., Charnock, D., Henshaw, H., & Hoare, D. (2020). Applications of qualitative grounded theory methodology to investigate hearing loss: protocol for a qualitative systematic review. BMJ Open, 10(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 11, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020-04
Deposit Date Mar 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 14, 2020
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 4
Article Number e033537
Keywords General Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:


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