The use of triangulation in qualitative research

Oncol Nurs Forum. 2014 Sep;41(5):545-7. doi: 10.1188/14.ONF.545-547.


Triangulation refers to the use of multiple methods or data sources in qualitative research to develop a comprehensive understanding of phenomena (Patton, 1999). Triangulation also has been viewed as a qualitative research strategy to test validity through the convergence of information from different sources. Denzin (1978) and Patton (1999) identified four types of triangulation: (a) method triangulation, (b) investigator triangulation, (c) theory triangulation, and (d) data source triangulation. The current article will present the four types of triangulation followed by a discussion of the use of focus groups (FGs) and in-depth individual (IDI) interviews as an example of data source triangulation in qualitative inquiry.

Keywords: focus groups; in-depth individual interviews; qualitative research; triangulation.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Focus Groups
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design*
  • Research Personnel