International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 635–640 | Cite as

Applications of mixed-methods methodology in clinical pharmacy research

  • Muhammad Abdul HadiEmail author
  • S. José Closs


Introduction Mixed-methods methodology, as the name suggests refers to mixing of elements of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in a single study. In the past decade, mixed-methods methodology has gained popularity among healthcare researchers as it promises to bring together the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Methodology A number of mixed-methods designs are available in the literature and the four most commonly used designs in healthcare research are: the convergent parallel design, the embedded design, the exploratory design, and the explanatory design. Each has its own unique advantages, challenges and procedures and selection of a particular design should be guided by the research question. Guidance on designing, conducting and reporting mixed-methods research is available in the literature, so it is advisable to adhere to this to ensure methodological rigour. When to use it is best suited when the research questions require: triangulating findings from different methodologies to explain a single phenomenon; clarifying the results of one method using another method; informing the design of one method based on the findings of another method, development of a scale/questionnaire and answering different research questions within a single study. Two case studies have been presented to illustrate possible applications of mixed-methods methodology. Limitations Possessing the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, interpretation and integration remains the biggest challenge for researchers conducting mixed-methods studies. Sequential study designs are often time consuming, being in two (or more) phases whereas concurrent study designs may require more than one data collector to collect both qualitative and quantitative data at the same time.


Mixed-methods Multi-methods Pharmacy Qualitative methods Quantitative methods 



No funding from any governmental or non-governmental agency was obtained for this paper.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of PharmacyUmm-Al-Qura UniversityMeccaSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.School of HealthcareUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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