Combining quantitative and qualitative methods
Primary care settings are becoming increasingly complex, as they strive to manage growing multimorbidity and acuity amongst their patient populations and navigate both systems change and evolving workforce trends. As the environment in which primary care professionals work becomes more complex, so too do the problems presenting to health care researchers. To address increasingly complex research problems, researchers must seek innovative methods which capture the multidimensional nature of the phenomena that they investigate. Mixed methods research is one approach to address complex health issues. This approach provides deeper insight into these complex problems than would be achieved if either quantitative or qualitative methods were used alone. However, mixed methods research is more than simply combining quantitative or qualitative techniques within a single study. Mixed methods research is driven by a number of key principles and may be underpinned by different methodological or philosophical considerations. This chapter provides an overview of the key considerations for undertaking mixed methods research in primary care.