Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 74–82 | Cite as

Comparing Two Approaches to Acquiring HIV-Risk Data from Puerto Rican Women with Severe Mental Illness

  • Emily L. G. HeaphyEmail author
  • Sana Loue


Renewed interest has been expressed by researchers in mixed-method assessment that employs both quantitative and qualitative techniques in an expansive style that utilizes a variety of tactics to address research questions. Participants consisted of Puerto Rican women with severe mental illness living in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The women were shadowed over a 2-year period to observe and verify behaviors that were self-reported using standardized instruments in semi-structured interviews. Concurrent criterion-related validity was employed to determine the extent of the correlation between responses obtained from the two approaches. Forty-four percent of the women were diagnosed with major depression and the mean overall GAF score was 58.5 ± 14.5. A comparison of the data collected using the different methodologies revealed that inconsistent and contradictory responses are not uncommon. The mixed-method design provided a more complete way of obtaining HIV-risk behavior data. Researchers and clinicians could benefit from mixed methods research that can provide greater opportunities to obtain data of a sensitive nature.


Mixed methods research Severe mental illness Puerto Rican HIV-risk behaviors 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health R01 MH-63016. We thank Nancy Mendez, Ingrid Vargas, and Jenice Contreras for their efforts in recruiting, interviewing, and shadowing the study participants; Martha Sajatovic, Daniel Tisch, and Leslie Heinberg for their review of this manuscript; and our study participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Minority Public HealthClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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