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Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods in a study can provide more robust answers to the research question. Nurses should be able to confidently and competently appraise research papers to be able to offer evidence-based care. While nurses may be able to appraise quantitative and qualitative research individually, this paper provides guidance on how to appraise a mixed methods (MM) research paper. To make it easier to understand MM research, we suggest that you read the two first papers (of this series), on how to appraise quantitative research and how to appraise qualitative research.1 2
What is MM research?
MM are often described as the third methodological movement,3 the first two being quantitative and qualitative. As a refresher quantitative methodology aims to address research questions about causality, generalisability or size of effects. On the other hand, qualitative methodologies are useful in research questions that explore why or how a phenomenon occurs. Qualitative research can also be used to develop a theory or to describe the nature of an individual’s experience.
MM studies collect, analyse and interpret both quantitative and qualitative data within a single or series of studies.4 The distinctiveness of MM is that the research design and methodology bring both sets of data together, which allows interpretations to be made as a single study. …
CM and XC contributed equally.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.