Many family medicine and community health researchers use surveys as an original research methodology. Our purpose is to illustrate how survey research provides an important form of quantitative research that can be effectively combined with qualitative data to form a mixed methods study. We first provide an overview of the key principles in survey research and in mixed methods research. We review the various ways that survey can be used in mixed methods studies, citing options such as beginning a study with a survey, using a survey as the second form of data collection, or combining a survey and a form of qualitative data in a single data collection procedure. Finally, we illustrate in a specific example six steps in conducting a mixed methods study using survey research. In a mixed methods study using a survey, primary care researchers should consider six steps. Step 1. Articulate the rationale for mixed methods study. Step 2. Detail quantitative and qualitative databases. Step 3. Identify a mixed methods design. Step 4. Analyse and report the results of the quantitative and qualitative databases. Step 5. Present and show integration. Step 6. Explicate the value of using mixed methods. The ability to combine and integrate survey research into a mixed methods study provides a more rigorous approach to research than conducting only a survey or conducting just a qualitative interview. While requiring skills beyond traditional survey approaches, surveys in primary care offers an opportunity for a high level of sophistication in research methodology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Family Practice