Mixed methods research in music therapy research

Joke Bradt, Debra S. Burns, John W. Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Music therapists have an ethical and professional responsibility to provide the highest quality care possible to their patients. Much of the time, high quality care is guided by evidencebased practice standards that integrate the most current, available research in making decisions. Accordingly, music therapists need research that integrates multiple ways of knowing and forms of evidence. Mixed methods research holds great promise for facilitating such integration. At this time, there have not been any methodological articles published on mixed methods research in music therapy. Objective: The purpose of this article is to introduce mixed methods research as an approach to address research questions relevant to music therapy practice. Methods: This article describes the core characteristics of mixed methods research, considers paradigmatic issues related to this research approach, articulates major challenges in conducting mixed methods research, illustrates four basic designs, and provides criteria for evaluating the quality of mixed methods articles using examples of mixed methods research from the music therapy literature. Conclusions: Mixed methods research offers unique opportunities for strengthening the evidence base in music therapy. Recommendations are provided to ensure rigorous implementation of this research approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-148
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Mixed methods research
  • Music therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Music


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