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As promotion of high quality living and reduction of human suffering are noble goals of the health sciences, researchers need robust research tools to achieve these ends. Health sciences researchers by necessity investigate a wide variety of phenomena with relevance to basic sciences, biological, clinical, behavioral, epidemiological and philosophical sources. Health sciences researchers have a long tradition of applying rigorous qualitative and quantitative approaches to scientific inquiry. The health sciences thus provide a fertile ground for applying the newly emerging mixed methods paradigm and examining the results of the cross-pollination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Using examples of mixed methods research from projects about virtual patients, health care quality in a multicultural setting conducted in four languages, and improving development of adaptive clinical trials, I explore challenges and opportunities of mixing and integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in the field. Multidisciplinary collaborations are key for mixed methods researchers to apply and expand mixed methods inquiry while still meeting the litmus test of quality demanded in the health sciences.

Event date: May 17, 2011
Speaker: Michael D. Fetters, MD, MPH, MA

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