Protocol for a constructivist metasynthesis of qualitative research of heroism and paramedic practice

Nigel Rees, Julia Williams, Chloe Hogan, Lauren Smyth, Thomas Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Exceptional demands have been placed on paramedics and other healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. An overwhelming outpouring of public support has unfolded, bringing into focus the relationship between paramedics, other HCWs and society, where they are portrayed as heroes. Scholars have studied the notion of heroism to society, and characteristics of such heroic status include: the voluntary nature of a heroic act, risk of physical or social harm, willingness to accept the consequences of action, acting for the benefit of others and without the expectation of gain. While some HCWs and paramedics may reflect these characteristics, many may not. Such heroic narratives can be damaging, stifling meaningful discussion around limits to duties, failing to acknowledge the importance of reciprocity and potentially imposing demands on paramedics and HCWs to be heroic.

Aim: This article prospectively presents the protocol for a metasynthesis which aims to identify, appraise and synthesise the qualitative literature in order to develop theory on heroism and paramedic practice.

Methods: Evolved grounded theory methodology is followed along with the procedural guidelines of Noblit and Hare (1988) to guide the analysis. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) have also been adopted when preparing this protocol and will be followed in the study proper. The protocol has been registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews PROSPERO 2021, registration number CRD42021234851.

Results: We do not currently have results, but PRISMA guidelines will be followed when reporting our findings.

Conclusion: Current narratives on heroism and paramedic practice are important in terms of the relationship between paramedics and society. The metasynthesis prospectively reported in this article serves as the first point in our journey of making sense of and developing theory on heroism and paramedic practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Paramedic Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • covid 19
  • Paramedic, emergency medicine
  • ambulance


Dive into the research topics of 'Protocol for a constructivist metasynthesis of qualitative research of heroism and paramedic practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this