The Use of Mixed Methods in Research

  • Kate A. McBrideEmail author
  • Freya MacMillan
  • Emma S. George
  • Genevieve Z. Steiner
Living reference work entry


Mixed methods research is becoming increasingly popular and is widely acknowledged as a means of achieving a more complex understanding of research problems. Combining both the in-depth, contextual views of qualitative research with the broader generalizations of larger population quantitative approaches, mixed methods research can be used to produce a rigorous and credible source of data. Using this methodology, the same core issue is investigated through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of both types of data within one study or a series of studies. Multiple designs are possible and can be guided by philosophical assumptions. Both qualitative and quantitative data can be collected simultaneously or sequentially (in any order) through a multiphase project. Integration of the two data sources then occurs with consideration is given to the weighting of both sources; these can either be equal or one can be prioritized over the other. Designed as a guide for novice mixed methods researchers, this chapter gives an overview of the historical and philosophical roots of mixed methods research. We also provide a practical overview of its application in health research as well as pragmatic considerations for those wishing to undertake mixed methods research.


Mixed methods Concurrent triangulation Sequential exploratory Sequential explanatory Convergent parallel Embedded design Transformative design Multiphase design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate A. McBride
    • 1
    Email author
  • Freya MacMillan
    • 2
  • Emma S. George
    • 2
  • Genevieve Z. Steiner
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Medicine and Translational Health Research InstituteWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Science and HealthWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.NICMWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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