Interest in systematically reviewing broader forms of evidence and in particular evidence from qualitative research is being driven by a growing recognition that qualitative research can improve the relevance and utility of a review. However, research evidence that is rigorously generated, regardless of design, demands due consideration of its quality before it can be used in the clinical environment. To be considered for a Cochrane Intervention review, evidence from qualitative research must be subjected to equally rigorous methods of review. Methods for appraising and analysing evidence from qualitative research are now emerging and will continue to evolve over time. Further evidence is required to establish the rigour and added value of the various approaches to quality appraisal in the systematic review process.