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August 26, 2011

JHSPH Research Helps Develop NIH Best Practices for Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD, an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society, helped develop best practices for scientists conducting mixed methods health research. The guidelines were developed in cooperation with colleagues John W. Creswell, PhD, and Vicki L. Plano Clark, PhD, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Ann Carroll Klassen, PhD, of Drexel University and adjunct faculty at the Bloomberg School. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the recommendations on August 23.

The NIH report provides valuable guidance intended to help scientists developing applications mixed methods research as well as guidance for reviewers who assess the quality of NIH research applications. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), part of NIH, identified the need for this guidance and commissioned the report.

According to OBSSR, multi-pronged strategies that address both prevention and treatment are critical to effectively tackling today’s most pressing public health problems, including obesity, health disparities among populations, poor adherence to treatments, and many other problems. Scientists working on the genetic, societal and behavioral causes of such problems must analyze both quantitative and qualitative data to understand and effectively address these issues.

For more information on Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research in the Health Sciences, please visit: http://obssr.od.nih.gov/scientific_areas/methodology/mixed_methods_research/index.aspx.