Mixed Methods Research Training Program for the Health Sciences
The Mixed Methods Research Training Program for the Health Sciences is funded by the National Institutes of Health through the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR), and is the only program of its kind in the United States.
The program fulfills a national need for training in mixed methods and is a natural next step following the publication of the OBSSR "Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research in the Health Sciences.".
Mixed methods research is defined as the collection, analysis, and integration of both quantitative (e.g., RCT outcome) data and qualitative (e.g., observations, interviews) data to provide a more comprehensive understanding of a research problem than might be obtained through quantitative or qualitative research alone. Typical applications of mixed methods in the health sciences involve adding qualitative interviews to follow up on the outcomes of intervention trials, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data to assess patient reactions to a program implemented in a community health setting, or using qualitative data to explain the mechanism of a study correlating behavioral and social factors to specific health outcomes.
An increase in proposals submitted to NIH using mixed methods reflects the growing awareness of the importance of this approach in addressing population and behavioral health.