Doing Interdisciplinary Mixed Methods Health Care Research: Working the Boundaries, Tensions, and Synergistic Potential of Team-Based Research

Qual Health Res. 2016 Apr;26(5):649-58. doi: 10.1177/1049732316634304.


Current trends in health care research point to a shift from disciplinary models to interdisciplinary team-based mixed methods inquiry designs. This keynote address discusses the problems and prospects of creating vibrant mixed methods health care interdisciplinary research teams that can harness their potential synergy that holds the promise of addressing complex health care issues. We examine the range of factors and issues these types of research teams need to consider to facilitate efficient interdisciplinary mixed methods team-based research. It is argued that concepts such as disciplinary comfort zones, a lack of attention to team dynamics, and low levels of reflexivity among interdisciplinary team members can inhibit the effectiveness of a research team. This keynote suggests a set of effective strategies to address the issues that emanate from the new field of research inquiry known as team science as well as lessons learned from tapping into research on organizational dynamics.

Keywords: empowerment; health care; interprofessional; methodology; power; qualitative; teamwork.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Group Processes*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Research Design*