Table 6

Roles of methods in mixed methods studies in HSR

Proposal (N = 43)

Report (N = 48)


Role of quantitative

Test effectiveness

47% (20)

46% (22)

Describe

40% (17)

54% (26)

Explain variability

26% (11)

21% (10)

Determine sample for qualitative

35% (15)

40% (19)

Generalise the qualitative findings

5% (2)

4% (2)

Generate consensus

5% (2)

2% (1)

Psychometrically test

2% (1)

4% (2)

Provide topic guide for qualitative

2% (1)

4% (2)


Role of qualitative

Develop the research question

0% (0)

0% (0)

Generate hypothesis

0% (0)

0% (0)

Establish theoretical framework

2% (1)

2% (1)

Determine sample

2% (1)

0% (0)

Generate content of instrument

30% (13)

10% (5)

Cognitively test instrument

9% (4)

6% (3)

Aid scale construction

0% (0)

2% (1)

Test validity of questionnaire

0% (0)

2% (1)

Develop intervention

16% (7)

13% (6)

Pilot intervention

2% (1)

2% (1)

Describe intervention

12% (5)

4% (2)

Study how intervention works

19% (8)

8% (4)

Study how the service works

5% (2)

13% (6)

Study intervention in practice

12% (5)

6% (3)

Process evaluation

14% (6)

4% (2)

Views of intervention

2% (1)

8% (4)

Determine outcomes and measures

0% (0)

0% (0)

Improve trial methodology

5% (2)

2% (1)

Explore RCT as social construct

2% (1)

0% (0)

Facilitate user involvement

0% (0)

2% (1)

Explore an issue

33% (14)

38% (18)

Uncover issues inaccessible to quant

7% (3)

0% (0)

Explore acceptability of care

7% (3)

6% (3)

Assess effectiveness

0% (0)

2% (1)

Explain relationships

12% (5)

10% (5)

Explore unusual findings

0% (0)

0% (0)

Explore issues from quantitative

7% (3)

4% (2)

Explore identified unusual groups

2% (1)

0% (0)

Offer case illustrations

5% (2)

6% (3)

Offer depth information on new cases

12% (5)

6% (3)

Confirm a quantitative finding

2% (1)

4% (2)

Understand results in real world

7% (3)

2% (1)


O'Cathain et al. BMC Health Services Research 2007 7:85   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-7-85

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