Notes from academic paper: Achieving integration in mixed methods designs – Principles and practices

This is an important paper

Mixed methods research offers powerful tools for investigating complex processes and systems in health and health care.

The nature of the research question drives the choice of methods. Health services researchers use quantitative methodologies to address research questions about causality, generalizability, or magnitude of effects. Qualitative methodologies are applied to research questions to explore why or how a phenomenon occurs, to develop a theory, or to describe the nature of an individual’s experience. Mixed methods research studies draw upon the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches and provides an innovative approach for addressing contemporary issues in health services.

Method level integration commonly relates to the type of design used in a study. For example, connecting follows naturally in sequential designs, while merging can occur in any design. Embedding generally occurs in an interventional design. Thus, the design sets parameters for what methodological integration choices can be made. Integration of qualitative and quantitative data at the interpretation and reporting level occurs through three approaches:

  • integrating through narrative;
  • integrating through data transformation;
  • integrating through joint displays.

 

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