Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research
- Cite this article as:
- Sale, J.E.M., Lohfeld, L.H. & Brazil, K. Quality & Quantity (2002) 36: 43. doi:10.1023/A:1014301607592
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Health care research includes many studies that combine quantitative and qualitative methods. In this paper, we revisit the quantitative-qualitative debate and review the arguments for and against using mixed-methods. In addition, we discuss the implications stemming from our view, that the paradigms upon which the methods are based have a different view of reality and therefore a different view of the phenomenon under study. Because the two paradigms do not study the same phenomena, quantitative and qualitative methods cannot be combined for cross-validation or triangulation purposes. However, they can be combined for complementary purposes. Future standards for mixed-methods research should clearly reflect this recommendation.