Combining the power of stories and the power of numbers: mixed methods research and mixed studies reviews

Annu Rev Public Health. 2014:35:29-45. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182440. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


This article provides an overview of mixed methods research and mixed studies reviews. These two approaches are used to combine the strengths of quantitative and qualitative methods and to compensate for their respective limitations. This article is structured in three main parts. First, the epistemological background for mixed methods will be presented. Afterward, we present the main types of mixed methods research designs and techniques as well as guidance for planning, conducting, and appraising mixed methods research. In the last part, we describe the main types of mixed studies reviews and provide a tool kit and examples. Future research needs to offer guidance for assessing mixed methods research and reporting mixed studies reviews, among other challenges.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design*