This month the #OTalk Research chat is on the topic of Mixed Methods in Occupational Therapy focused research and will be hosted by Naomi Gallant @naomi_gallant here is what she had to say…
Following a stimulating and informative presentation and discussion with the Occupational Therapy Doctoral group via video call on Monday evening, it was fitting to open up discussion with the Occupational Therapy community about the use of mixed methods in research. As the name suggests, mixed methods is a methodological approach to research which includes a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection, which naturally translates into data analysis. This is not to be confused with triangulation of methods, or multiple-method research, which can use a combination of methods which are all quantitative or all qualitative. The mixed methods design is being used increasingly in researching and applying findings to health settings and complex health phenomena. A pragmatic paradigm is often favoured when approaching mixed methods – use whatever is needed to answer the question in the best way.
Some key points for further discussion jumped out to me during our video call. People had come across, and were anticipating different challenges to using mixed methods in research. These included: being able to justify and convince others (including supervisors) that mixed methods was an appropriate approach; mixing opposing research paradigms; making decisions about sequential or parallel mixed methods typologies; where to publish mixed methods research; and adequately analysing the quantitative and qualitative data.
So, I wanted to open up some questions to the floor to further our discussions from Monday, create an opportunity to share experiences and see what everyone else thinks about using mixed methods research in Occupational Therapy focused research.
1. Let’s start by hearing what people’s experiences are of using, or seeing, mixed methods research, in action
2. How do we address the opposing research paradigms of quantitative and qualitative research when designing mixed methods research?
3. Does an Occupational Therapy perspective side with a particular research paradigm?
4. Why could mixed methods research be particularly useful to Occupational Therapy areas of research?
5. What quality criteria guidelines could be used to ensure rigorous and persuasive research is conducted?
Support on the @OTalk_ Account: @LynneGoodacre