According to Teddlie and Tashakkorri, mixed methods entail combination of quantitative and qualitative procedures in the methodology of a study, focusing on philosophical assumptions. It explains how the methodology involves fraternization of all stages of the research procedure from philosophical points, to extrapolations and finally to the interpretations of outcomes. Creswell & Plano Clark explains mixed methods as techniques or methods of gathering and analyzing data in a more specific view of the world. Creswell (2015) argues that there are three common categories that must be involved while using mixed methods. They include resources and time, pre-knowledge of the approaches as well as the problem of getting investigators convinced on the values that mixed methods present (Ivankova, 2014). According to Bergman, a mixed method involves the mixing of both qualitative together with quantitative methodologies in research with the main aim of maintaining the strengths and reducing the weaknesses in both approaches, producing more efficient findings.
Mixed methods are an evolving methodology in research that progresses the amalgamation of both quantitative and qualitative records in a program with the aim of increasing the prospects of attaining outcomes that are more reliable and convenient. Mixed methods are research design with logical assumptions and inquiry techniques involving logical assumptions meant for guiding the direction of data collection as well as analysis along with the combination of qualitative and quantitative procedures in a research process (Clark & Ivankova, 2015). Its unique characteristic is that the utilization of different methodologies offers an enhanced comprehension of research problems as opposed to separate utilization of either approach.
Mixed methods despite having good values compared to other research methods, it is evident that it is difficult conducting the research. It is time consuming and needs more resources to collect and analyze the qualitative and quantitative data. Adding on that, it cannot be done by one person because of its complexity. It complicates research needing clear presentations for the user to be able to identify the different techniques used in the research. Tagging on that is the fact that most researchers are trained in only one form of investigation while mixed methods require the use of more than methods (Creswell, 2011).
Mixed methods would be appropriate when assessing multifaceted studies like Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) models. This is a move toward improving the excellence, understanding, exposure, cost and patient and health care provider relationships. It emphasizes patient-centered, harmonized, ample, accessible health care, and a methodical focus on safety and quality. With the combined utilization of qualitative and quantitative data, mixed methods allows the evaluation of PCMH models, showing how it can be well implemented to achieve the desired aims of the program. The core characteristics of mixed methods making it suitable for the PCMH models include the methods of data collection and analysis can involve any technique available to researches, making it more flexible to use (Clark & Ivankova, 2015). The other is that research difficulties can become research questions established on previous knowledge, experience and exposure to the research process. Tagging on that is that interpretation of information is repetitive and can impact stages in the research process. This method also allows outlining of procedures in theoretical models of research, for example, what the patients, health care providers and all the stakeholders would classify as the best experiences in the locality. The method is also easy to report and define and is useful when unanticipated outcomes arise from a prior study.
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