As contemporary research becomes more often interdisciplinary, complex and collaborative in nature, it requires methods that can respond to different questions that we need to answer. Mixed Methods Research is used where Qualitative and Quantitive research methods can enrich each other and compliment each other to more comprehensively answer the question you are seeking to answer.
There are lots of reasons to consider if using a mixed method research design is suitable for your topic. These it can positively impact on include exploring both quantitative and qualitative data instruments to gain an insight into your topic. These methods can validate each others findings as well and help you explore ideas that you may not have considered. Mixed methods uses “rigorous procedures in collecting and analyzing data appropriate to each method’s tradition, such as ensuring the appropriate sample size for quantitative and qualitative analysis” (Wisdom & Creswell 2013 p3). Not only does it require this type of rigor, it also provides opportunities to review the research as you move through the research project and make adjustments where appropriate and with reference to your question or hypothesis.
Below is a list of ways that mixed methods could be used to evaluate a patient-centered medical home, from a study by Wisdom & Creswell 2013.
- Validate findings using quantitative and qualitative data sources (convergent design)
- Use qualitative data to explore quantitative findings. (explanatory sequential design)
- Develop survey instruments. (exploratory sequential design) – This type of research design is explored in the post ‘Coin Soccer’
- Use qualitative data to augment a quantitative outcomes study. (embedded design)
- Involve community-based stakeholders. (multiphase design)