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Mixed methods research: expanding the evidence base
  1. Allison Shorten1,
  2. Joanna Smith2
  1. 1 School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
  2. 2 Children's Nursing, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Allison Shorten, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 2nd Ave South, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA;; ashorten{at}

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‘Mixed methods’ is a research approach whereby researchers collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data within the same study.1 2 Growth of mixed methods research in nursing and healthcare has occurred at a time of internationally increasing complexity in healthcare delivery. Mixed methods research draws on potential strengths of both qualitative and quantitative methods,3 allowing researchers to explore diverse perspectives and uncover relationships that exist between the intricate layers of our multifaceted research questions. As providers and policy makers strive to ensure quality and safety for patients and families, researchers can use mixed methods to explore contemporary healthcare trends and practices across increasingly diverse practice settings.

This article will outline common types of mixed methods designs and provide examples of how nursing researchers can apply different mixed methods designs in order to answer important nursing practice questions.

What is mixed methods research?

Mixed methods research requires a purposeful mixing of methods in data …

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