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Integrative Approaches to Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence

Mary Dixon-Woods, Shona Agarwal, Bridget Young, David Jones, Alex Sutton: 2004

This report is an informal review of the literature on integrating qualitative and quantitative forms of evidence. It explores five key themes. In summary, these are:

  • the role of qualitative approaches in traditional trials and experimental studies, beginning with a general discussion of the rationale for multi-method research.
  • at what point in the development of a field of knowledge it is appropriate to pull qualitative and quantitative learning together.
  • the complex question of how to determine what constitutes good evidence from qualitative studies.
  • a brief discussion of whether there are hierarchies of evidence within the different types of qualitative investigation, and conclude that it is unlikely that consensus can be achieved.
  • considerations in some detail how the findings of qualitative and quantitative evidence may be synthesised. A discussion of some of the theoretical and methodological issues that remain to be resolved is presented, and the report concludes with some directions for research and development.

The report seeks to address five related questions:

1. What is the role of qualitative approaches in traditional trials and experimental studies?
2. At what point in the development of a field of knowledge is it appropriate to pull qualitative and quantitative learning together?
3. What constitutes good evidence from qualitative studies?
4. Are there hierarchies of evidence within the different types of qualitative investigation?
5. How may the findings of qualitative and quantitative research be synthesised?


 

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.