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Table 2 Summary of articles included in meta-synthesis (divided per groups: students and professionals)

From: Health professionals and students’ experiences of reflective writing in learning: A qualitative meta-synthesis

Source and country Purpose Sampling Previous training on RW Type of professionals Method Data collection CASP
 Tsang et al. (2010) [35] “Oral health students’ perceptions of clinical reflective learning-relevance to their development as evolving professionals” (Australia) Student perceptions of clinical reflective learning and its relevance to their clinical and professional development. 17 students Yes Oral health professionals Quantitative and qualitative analyses Thematic analysis 14/30 Low to Moderate
 Wald et al. (2010) [36] “The loss of my elderly patient: interactive reflective writing to support medical students’ rites of passage” (United States of America) Implement a narrative medicine curriculum innovation of students’ reflective writing. 25 students Yes Doctors Qualitative study Brown Educational Guide to the Analysis of Narrative (BEGAN) 18/30 Moderate
 Garrison et al. (2011) [37] “Qualitative analysis of medical student impressions of a narrative exercise in the third-year psychiatry clerkship” (United States of America) Examine students’ written reactions to the narrative exercise, which drawing from narrative medicine and narrative therapy. 46 students Yes Doctors Qualitative method Thematic analysis 20/30 Moderate
 Kuo et al. (2011) [38] “Using clinical caring journaling: nursing student and instructor experiences” (Taiwan) Explore the experiences and perceptions of student nurses using clinical care journaling. 880 students + 90 clinical instructors Yes Nurses Descriptive qualitative research Constant comparative method 18/30 Moderate
 Bagnato et al. (2013) [39] “The reflective journal: a tool for enhancing experience-based learning in nursing students in clinical practice” (Italy) Understand the level of students’ reflections; The students’ experience. 33 students Not described Nurses Qualitative data analysis Mezirow’s qualitative method 13/30 Low to Moderate
 Constantinou et al. (2013) [40] “Physiotherapy students find guided journals useful to develop reflective thinking and practice during their first clinical placement: a qualitative study” (Australia) Do physiotherapy students perceive that guided journals facilitate reflective thinking and practice? 90 students Yes Physiotherapists Mixed methods study Leximancer© V3.5 Software 15/30 Low to Moderate
 Jonas-Dwyer et al. (2013) [41] “First reflections: third-year dentistry students’ introduction to reflective practice” (Australia) Introduce reflective practice to students; evaluate students’ self-perceived reflective skills before and after their reflective activities. 46 students Yes Dentists Qualitative study Wong et al.’s Schema 21/30 Moderate to High
 Bowman et al. (2014) [42] “Academic reflective writing: a study to examine its usefulness” (United Kingdom) To explore students’ experiences of doing assessed academic reflective writing. 8 students Not described Nurses and midwives Qualitative research methodology Kitzinger and Barbour’s method 19/30 Moderate
 Padykula (2016) “RN-BS students’ reports of their self-care and health-promotion practices in a holistic nursing course” (United States of America) Explore the utility of reflective journal writing for enhancing RN-BS students’ self-care and health-promotion practices. 15 students Not described Nurses Qualitative single case study Creswell’s method 26/30 High
 Binyamin (2018) [43] “Growing from dilemmas: developing a professional identity through collaborative reflections on relational dilemmas” (Israel) Illustrate how the pedagogical method of collaborative reflection can develop occupational therapists’ professional identity. 196 students Yes Occupational therapists Qualitative research Thematic analysis 16/30 Moderate
 Hwang (2018) [44] “Facilitating student learning with critical reflective journaling in psychiatric mental health nursing clinical education: a qualitative study” (Korea) Explore types of events or issues that senior nursing students chose to reflect upon in their critical reflective journals during their 5-week psychiatric mental health nursing clinical practicum; assess students’ evaluations of critical reflective journaling. 59 students Yes Nurses Qualitative study Qualitative content analysis 16/30 Moderate
 Persson et al. (2018) [45] “Midwifery students’ experiences of learning through the use of written reflections – an interview study” (Sweden) Examine how midwifery students experienced the writing of daily reflections on their practice. 19 students Yes Midwives Interview study using an inductive method with descriptive design Qualitative thematic content analysis. 23/30 Moderate to High
 Levine et al. (2008) [46] “The impact of prompted narrative writing during internship on reflective practice: a qualitative study” (United States of America) Understand if prompted narrative writing led to increasing reflection by the study participants and what impact this had on participants’ attitudes and behaviors. 32 professionals Not described Internal medicine residents Prospective qualitative study Qualitative analysis 21/30 Moderate to High
 Cashell (2010) [47] “Radiation therapists’ perspective of the role of reflection in clinical practice” (Canada) To explore radiation therapist’s understanding of the concept of reflection and how it was incorporated into their daily practice. 123 professionals Yes Radiation therapists Mixed methods study Thematic analysis 21/30 Moderate to High
Vachon et al. (2010) [48] “Using reflective learning to improve the impact of continuing education in the context of work rehabilitation” (Canada) Describe how occupational therapists used reflective learning to integrate research evidence into their clinical decision-making process and identify the factors that influenced the reflective learning process. 8 professionals Yes Occupational therapists Collaborative research The data analysis process was based on the methods proposed in Grounded Theory 25/30 High
 Karkabi et al. (2014) [49] “The use of abstract paintings and narratives to foster reflective capacity in medical educators: a multinational faculty development workshop” (Israel) Foster reflective capacity using art and narrative. 23 professionals Yes Family medicine physicians Qualitative assessment Thematic analysis 16/30 Moderate
 Caverly et al. (2018) [50] “Qualitative evaluation of a narrative reflection program to help medical trainees recognize and avoid overuse” (United States of America) To describe a writing program and to explore how participating influenced the thinking, attitudes, and behaviors. 20 professionals Yes Internal medicine residents Qualitative research methodology Thematic analysis 20/30 Moderate