Use of theoretical frameworks as a pragmatic guide for mixed methods studies: A methodological necessity?

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Abstract

There is a growing acceptance of the utility of mixed methods in health sciences but there is no widely accepted set of ideas with regard to use of a conceptual or theoretical framework to guide inquiry. Few mixed methods health science articles report the use of such a framework. Lack of available conceptual maps provided by theoretical frameworks, necessary intricacy of design, and the qualitative "black box" tradition all contribute to a dearth of methodological guidance in such studies. This article uses a funded National Institutes of Health study as an example to explain the utility of a theoretical framework in conceptualizing a study, making design decisions such as sampling and recruitment, collecting and analyzing data, and data interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-292
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mixed Methods Research
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

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Keywords

  • conceptual framework
  • mixed methods
  • theoretical framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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