Mixed Methodology in Health Psychology

The 18th Create workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Irina Todorova and Dr. Rachel Shaw.


There has been increased interest in the use of mixed research methods in health psychology. The workshop will begin with a discussion of what is understood by “mixed methods research”, what are the advantages as well as the challenges and dilemmas in such an approach to research. The different types of methods are usually associated with different philosophical underpinnings, sometimes considered incompatible. Thus, we will review the ways in which psychologists have attempted to move forward with combining qualitative and quantitative methods while making sense of the paradigmatic differences - such as through post-positivist, constructivist, pragmatist and transformative paradigms.   

We will explore diverse models for organizing mixed methods research and combining the components, based on the purposes of the project and its research questions.  Regarding the weight or priority given to the components, we will give examples of qualitatively driven or quantitatively driven studies. Regarding the timing – we will explore studies in which the qualitative and quantitative parts are concurrent, or sequentially organized.  While the integration of insights from the qualitative and quantitative components is key to mixed-methods research, during the design, questions arise regarding how to achieve this integration, as well as at which stage of the research to do so - at the time of data collection, or during the analysis, or in the interpretation/discussion of the results.

At each step we will process examples from our own as well as published research. This is likely to include: (1) a feasibility study aiming to test a medication review for people with dementia alongside a training intervention for care home staff caring for people with dementia in the UK; this involved qualitative elicitation research to develop the intervention, standardized outcome measures at baseline and follow-up, and a qualitative evaluation; and (2) a study of multidimensional barriers to cervical cancer prevention in Bulgaria and Romania, which included in-depth interviews with women and health providers, as well as nationally representative surveys. We will conduct multiple exercises using these examples and where appropriate will incorporate plans for your own mixed methods studies.  At the end of the workshop, participants will be familiar with the benefits and challenges of combining qualitative and quantitative methods, the ways in which they can be combined and integrated, will have tried some approaches through hands-on exercises and will have a better sense of which are the positions and techniques with which they most resonate.

Behaviour Change: Making an Impact on Health and Health Services
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Sunday, August 21, 2016 to Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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