The MIXED framework: A novel approach to evaluating mixed-methods rigor

Nurs Inq. 2017 Oct;24(4). doi: 10.1111/nin.12189. Epub 2017 Feb 9.


Evaluation of rigor in mixed-methods (MM) research is a persistent challenge due to the combination of inconsistent philosophical paradigms, the use of multiple research methods which require different skill sets, and the need to combine research at different points in the research process. Researchers have proposed a variety of ways to thoroughly evaluate MM research, but each method fails to provide a framework that is useful for the consumer of research. In contrast, the MIXED framework is meant to bridge the gap between an academic exercise and practical assessment of a published work. The MIXED framework (methods, inference, expertise, evaluation, and design) borrows from previously published frameworks to create a useful tool for the evaluation of a published study. The MIXED framework uses an experimental eight-item scale that allows for comprehensive integrated assessment of MM rigor in published manuscripts. Mixed methods are becoming increasingly prevalent in nursing and healthcare research requiring researchers and consumers to address issues unique to MM such as evaluation of rigor.

Keywords: evaluation methods; mixed methods; nursing research; qualitative methods; quantitative methods; research methodology; research rigor.

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Humans
  • Nursing Research / standards*
  • Research Design / standards*