Using mixed methods when researching communities
Aim To argue for the use of mixed methods when researching communities. Background Although research involving minority communities is now advanced, not enough effort has been made to formulate methodological linkages between qualitative and quantitative methods in most studies. For instance, the quantitative approaches used by epidemiologists and others in examining the wellbeing of communities are usually empirical. While the rationale for this is sound, quantitative findings can be expanded with data from in-depth qualitative approaches, such as interviews or observations, which are likely to provide insights into the experiences of people in those communities and their relationships with their wellbeing. Review methods An iterative process of identifying eligible literature was carried out by comprehensively searching electronic databases. Discussion Using mixed methods approaches is likely to address any potential drawbacks of individual methods by exploiting the strengths of each at the various stages of research. Combining methods can provide additional ways of looking at a complex problem and improve the understanding of a community’s experiences. However, it is important for researchers to use the different methods interactively during their research. Conclusion The use of qualitative and quantitative methods is likely to enrich our understanding of the interrelationship between wellbeing and the experiences of communities. This should help researchers to explore socio-cultural factors and experiences of health and healthcare practice more effectively.
Citation : Ochieng, B. and Meetoo, D. (2015) Using mixed methods when researching communities. Nurse Researcher, 23(1),pp.16-19
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes