Application of Mixed-methods Research in Clinical Practice
Nursing is a discipline that traditionally considers the whole person and, following this mandate, nursing research is also considered to have a holistic perspective. Yet research methods demanded that the researcher focus on some part of the person-to quantitatively measure some biological, psychological, or social aspect of the persons, or to qualitatively describe an experience within the context of the family, work or illness. Mixed-methods design overcomes this imitations, and expands the
... s, and expands the scope of the research considerably, for now nurses can do both. We can both measure and describe the experience in the same project. Thus, mixed-method research adds another dimension to research design, enabling our questions to be more holistic. For instance, a single project may qualitatively describe the patient's illness or caregiving experience, along with a quantitative psychological measure. Alternatively, the mixedmethods project may quantitatively measure various physiological parameters, and include qualitative description of the experience. What Kinds of Questions Do Mixed-Methods Address? Mixed-methods studies generally have one overarching aim the encompasses both the methods used in the study, with a separate research question addressing each "component" 2 of the study. For instance, the aim of a study may be to explore modes of infant feeding in the infants' first six weeks of life. The quantitative question may be What is the infant's health status? If the study was conceived as quantitatively-driven (QUAN 3 ) (with, for instance, the infant health as measured by weight gain, length and hemoglobin level) and simultaneously component (qual) qualitative interviews addressing the questions: Is the infants described as content?, with contentedness defined as the mothers' description of the infant sleep patterns, episodes of hard 1. Profesora, Colegio de Enfermería, Universidad de Utah, Profesor Emérito, Universidad de Alberta, Canada. Editor Qualitative Health Research. 2. Mixed-methods studies are usually conducted with a separate component for each question and method. The results of each component are then bought together at the point of interface, and integrated as the results narrative. The results narrative section is then followed by the discussion (1). 3. The notation for mixed-method design is QUAL, QUAN (upper case), indicating the core (complete) component, and qual, quan (lower case, italics) indicating the supplemental component. In the results narrative, the core component provides the main findings, and the supplemental findings are integrated to support the core findings (2).