What impact does volunteering have on personal well-being from the perspective of adults undertaking it? A thematic synthesis
A thematic synthesis of Volunteering through social prescribing and the affects it has adults.
What impact does volunteering have on personal well-being from the perspective of adults undertaking it?
We will search the following databases:
Types of study to be included
Qualitative studies (that have used a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis) or mixed methods research when findings from the qualitative component can be distinguished easily from the quantitative part. We will not be including quantitative research or questionnaire studies with open-ended questions.
Condition or domain being studied
Our review will explore how volunteers perceive formal volunteering affect their personal well-being. By personal well-being, we mean “how satisfied we are with our lives, our sense that what we do in life is worthwhile, our day-to-day emotional experiences…” (Linning and Jackson, 2018: 10). Well-being from this perspective could include depression, distress, anxiety, life satisfaction, family functioning, social support, social connections or isolation, self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-worth and status, feeling useful and as if one belongs, confidence, having autonomy or agency.
There have been various definitions of volunteering (e.g. Linning and Jackson, 2018; Nazroo and Matthews, 2012; Thoits and Hewitt, 2001). Within these, a distinction is made between 'formal' and 'informal'. Formal volunteering refers to participation in activities for or in the community that takes place within the context of an organisation or group (Rutherford et al., 2019). Within this, there may be organisation-related activities (e.g. raising money, campaigning, sitting on a committee, carrying out administrative tasks, working in a charity shop) and person-centred work (e.g. befriending, educating, advising) (Nazroo and Matthews, 2012). Informal volunteering, on the other hand, might entail caring for or supporting a family member/neighbour, or “isolated altruistic acts such as intervening in emergencies” (Thoits and Hewitt, 2001: 116). This review will centre on the former, as this is where research has focused; there is very limited existing evidence on informal volunteering, which has been depicted as distinct from formal in activities offered, motivations for doing it and benefits it brings (Rutherford et al., 2019).
Experiences, views, attitudes, perceptions of volunteers.
* Measures of effect
* Measures of effect
Data extraction (selection and coding)
Initially, we will screen references based on their title/abstract. One reviewer will screen all references and 20% will be independently reviewed by a second member of the team. References that are judged to be relevant, or when the title/abstract provides insufficient information to make this decision, will be read as full text. Two reviewers will independently read all full text documents and make decisions together about their inclusion.
Risk of bias (quality) assessment
We will use the criteria outlined by Carroll et al. (2012) to appraise the reporting of papers. This will mean focusing on a) the question and study design, b) selection of participants/cases, c) methods of data collection, d) methods of analysis. One reviewer will appraise all papers and 20% will be independently assessed by a second reviewer. Any disagreements will be addressed through discussion. A third reviewer will be brought in if a consensus cannot be reached.
Strategy for data synthesis
For included studies, the following information will be recorded in an Excel file: Author(s), year of publication, country in which it was conducted, study aim(s), methodology, sample, data collection, analysis, type of volunteering and a brief summary of findings. A copy of each included study will be downloaded into NVIVO. For analytical purposes, we will focus the analysis on data from the results and discussion sections. One researcher will extract data; data extracted for 20% of papers will be reviewed by a second member of the team.
Analysis of subgroups or subsets
We will use information from the quality appraisal to undertake a sensitivity analysis, exploring whether key themes are lost when lower quality reported studies are removed, or if doing so affects the richness of information underpinning a theme (Carroll et al., 2012).
Contact details for further information
Stephanie Tierney, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisational affiliation of the review
University of Oxford
Synthesis of qualitative studies, Systematic review
NIHR School for Primary Care Research
Project reference 483
Stage of review
Subject index terms status
Subject indexing assigned by CRD
Subject index terms
Adult; Humans; Personal Satisfaction; Volunteers
Date of registration in PROSPERO
11 June 2020
Date of first submission
05 June 2020
Stage of review at time of this submission
|Piloting of the study selection process||No||No|
|Formal screening of search results against eligibility criteria||No||No|
|Risk of bias (quality) assessment||No||No|
The record owner confirms that the information they have supplied for this submission is accurate and complete and they understand that deliberate provision of inaccurate information or omission of data may be construed as scientific misconduct.
The record owner confirms that they will update the status of the review when it is completed and will add publication details in due course.