Creating and supporting a mixed methods health services research team

Health Serv Res. 2013 Dec;48(6 Pt 2):2157-80. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12118. Epub 2013 Oct 21.


Objective: To use the experience from a health services research evaluation to provide guidance in team development for mixed methods research.

Methods: The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE) team was organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate The Green House nursing home culture change program. This article describes the development of the research team and provides insights into how funders might engage with mixed methods research teams to maximize the value of the team.

Results: Like many mixed methods collaborations, the THRIVE team consisted of researchers from diverse disciplines, embracing diverse methodologies, and operating under a framework of nonhierarchical, shared leadership that required new collaborations, engagement, and commitment in the context of finite resources. Strategies to overcome these potential obstacles and achieve success included implementation of a Coordinating Center, dedicated time for planning and collaborating across researchers and methodologies, funded support for in-person meetings, and creative optimization of resources.

Conclusions: Challenges are inevitably present in the formation and operation of effective mixed methods research teams. However, funders and research teams can implement strategies to promote success.

Keywords: Mixed methods; leadership; research funding; team development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Homes for the Aged / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Leadership
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration
  • Organizational Culture
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Research Design*
  • Systems Integration