r4d Skills on Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research combines qualitative and quantitative approaches. In a workshop with Professor Alicia O’Cathain the participants of the r4d Skills event discussed and reflected about the potentials of the whole that can be greater than the sum of the parts.

The keynote on mixed methods research in health studies, provided by Professor Alicia O'Cathain, University of Sheffield, on the occasion of the r4d Forum 2016 Public Health in March, prompted an engaged discussion. This resulted in the decision to invite her again to do a full day workshop on mixed methods research in the r4d Skills series.

On 28 October, 30 participants attended the workshop at the premises of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Alicia O'Cathain, a profiled mixed methods researcher in the field of Public Health, compiled a selection of papers on and about mixed methods research in diverse thematic areas. Together with the participants, she discussed and debated mixed methods research approaches and their potentials. She provided examples and conveyed different schools of thought of mixed methods research, while at the same time being very clear about her conviction that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts . She also revealed that there are systematic ways and tools to meaningfully integrate qualitative and quantitative sets of data. This does not mean to produce separate papers only but to at least interlink and mutually cite each other, as well as to go as far as presenting and discussing both bodies of data in an integrative way in the same papers. The majority of the participants reported after the workshop that their confidence in publishing interdisciplinary work and mixed methods research has increased.

Alicia O'Cathain's key messages on mixed methods research were recorded (during which the above picture was taken). The filmmaker Rémi Willemin currently produces three videos that will be published here soon. Further material and information about the workshop can be found on the respective events page External Link Icon.