What is Mixed Methods Research_

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					 What is Mixed Methods

        Felicity Boardman
Health Sciences Research Institute
      University of Warwick
              Aims of Lecture
   To explore different definitions of mixed
    methods research
   To understand the rationales for using mixed
    methods research
   To explore different mixed methods research
   To understand some of the ways in which mixed
    methods data can be analysed
   To think about some of the challenges
    associated with doing mixed methods research
    What is Mixed Methods Research?
   Mixed methods research is not new but only recently been
    systematically described; „new era‟ of mixed methods
    research (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998)
   Different definitions of mixed methods research used by
    different researchers
   Not simply the ad hoc combination of qualitative and
    quantitative methods, it is the planned mixing of methods at a
    pre- determined stage of the research (Halcomb et al., 2009)
   “mixed methods [is] research which collects both qualitative
    and quantitative data in one study and integrates these data
    at some stage of the research process” (Halcomb et al.,
   Distinction between mixed methods (quant and qual) and
    multi method research (uses more than one method from
    same tradition) (Bazeley, 2007)
     Why the move towards mixed
     methods research in the health
   Increased reflexivity about researcher-researched
   Increased political awareness about what and who
    research is for
   Growing formalisation of research governance and ethics
   The availability and ease of new technologies to analyse
    mixed methods research (e.g. Nvivo, MaxQDA, Atlas.ti)
   International Research Collaboration
                                 (Halcomb and Andrew, 2009)
Rationales for using mixed methods
   Triangulation - one of the first rationales for using
    mixed methods research (Denzin, 1970). Used to test
    the consistency of findings through different approaches.
   Complementarity - clarifies and illustrates results from
    one method with the use of another method.
   Development - the results of analysis using one
    method shapes subsequent methods or steps in the
    research process.
   Initiation-stimulates new research questions or
    challenges results obtained through one method.
   Expansion- provides richness and detail buy building on
    the findings of either qualitative or quantitative methods
                                          (Greene et al., 1989)
       Typology of Mixed Methods
    Four central questions that inform the design of a
     mixed methods study:
1.   In what sequence will the qualitative and quantitative
     data collection be implemented?
2.   What relative priority will be given to the qualitative
     and quantitative data collection and analysis?
3.   At what stage of the project will the qualitative and
     quantitative data be integrated?
4.   Will an overall theoretical perspective be used to guide
     the study?
                                              (Creswell, 2003)
      Typology of Mixed Methods
     Research: Four Basic Designs
1.   Principal Quantitative, Qualitative Preliminary
     (qual -> QUANT)
2.   Principal Qualitative, Quantitative Preliminary
     (quant -> QUAL)
3.   Complementary Quantitative, Qualitative
     Follow-Up (QUANT -> qual)
4.   Complementary Qualitative, Quantitative
     Follow-Up (QUAL -> quant)
                         (Morse, 1991; Morgan, 1998)
     Data Collection in Mixed Methods
     Interviews/ Focus Groups/
      Questionnaires/ Surveys/ Validated Tests
      and Scales/ Observation
     Considerations:
1.    Balancing strengths and limitations of
      each method
2.    Timing of data collection
        Analysis of Mixed Methods
       Research: Separate Analyses
    Qualitative and quantitative data sets analysed
     separately and conclusions drawn that incorporate both
     data sets.
    Can be used for the following purposes:
1.   Triangulation
2.   Expansion or Complementarity
3.   Development
    Separate analyses may give rise to contradictory or
     discrepant results which need to be explained
                               (Halcomb and Andrew, 2009)
        Analysis of Mixed Methods
     Research: Combining Data Types
               for Synthesis
     Combining of data types for analysis requires
      transformation of data in some form in order to „marry‟
      diverse sources.
     Can be done through:
1.    Meta matrices, databases, spreadsheets e.g.
      systematic reviews
2.    Qualitising numerical data e.g. using scores to provide
      a descriptive classification
3.    Counting
4.    Quantitising qualitative data e.g. 0/1 transformation
      for absence/presence of code, numerical weighting of
      codes (MaxQDA)
                                   (Halcomb and Andrew, 2009)
        Analysis of Mixed Methods
     Research: Combining Data Types
               for Synthesis
    Combined analysis can be used to:
1.   Merge and compare (e.g. themes can be
     quantified, independent t tests and bivariate
     linear regression analyses in SPSS)
2.   Explore, predict and explain (e.g. case by case
     variable matrix, cluster analysis)
3.   Blend to created new variable to use in further
                          (Halcomb and Andrew, 2009)
         Issues to consider in Mixed
             Methods Research
   „paradigm wars‟, reconciling philosophical assumptions of each
    methodological perspective.
   Selecting and managing research team with diverse specialities.
   Practicalities of data collection and analysis, may make concurrent
    analysis difficult
   Statistical analysis often relies on large sample sizes which are not
    common in qualitative research
   Transforming qualitative data into numerical form may lose some of
    the richness and nuances in the text
   A lack of templates for the writing up and publishing mixed methods
    research, sometimes qualitative and quantitative results published
   Not all journals publish mixed methods research which may limit
    publication opportunities
         Benefits of Mixed Methods
   Gives researchers an opportunity to creatively rethink
    research design and the various different ways they can
    be linked to research questions
   Potential to generate new insights and levels of analysis
   Challenges taken for granted assumptions across a wide
    range of research methods topics
   Brings together researchers from different backgrounds
    and different specialisms and allows them to think
    together on a given research problem
                                            (Bergman, 2008)
           Recommended Reading
   Andrew, S. and E. Halcomb (eds). 2009. Mixed Methods Research for
    Nursing and the Health Sciences Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
   Creswell, J. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed
    Methods Approaches (3rd Edition) London: Sage.
   Plano Clark, V. and J. Creswell (eds). 2008. The Mixed Methods Reader
    London: Sage.
   Teddlie, C. and A. Tashakkori. 2009. Foundations of Mixed Methods
    Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the
    Social and Behavioural Sciences London: Sage.
   Morgan, D. L. 1998. Practical Strategies for Combining Qualitative and
    Quantitative Methods: Applications for Health Research Qualitative Health
    Research 8 362-376.
   Morgan, D. (2007). Paradigms Lost and Pragmatism Regained:
    Methodological Implications of Combining Qualitative and Qualitative
    Methods, Journal of Mixed Methods Research 1(1), pp 48-76.
   Dixon-Woods, M., Agarwal, S., Young, B., Jones, D. and A. Sutton. 2004.
    Integrative Approaches to Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence NHS:
    Health Development Agency
   Bryman, A. (2007). Barriers to Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative
    Research, Journal of Mixed Methods Research 1(1), 8-22.
   Johnson, R. B. and A. J. Onwuegbuzie. 2004. Mixed Methods Research: A
    Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come Educational Researcher 33 (7)

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