Background: Mixed methods (MM) are common in community-based primary health care (CBPHC) research studies. Several strategies have been proposed to integrate qualitative and quantitative components in MM, but they are seldom well conceptualized and described. The purpose of the present review was to identify and describe practical MM strategies and combinations of strategies used to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods in CBPHC research.
Methods: A methodological review with qualitative synthesis (grouping) was performed. Records published in English in 2015 were retrieved from the Scopus bibliographic database. Eligibility criteria were: CBPHC empirical study, MM research with detailed description of qualitative and quantitative methods and their integration. Data were extracted from included studies and grouped using a conceptual framework comprised of three theoretical types of MM integration, the seven combinations of these types and nine practical strategies (three per type of integration) and multiple combinations of strategies.
Results: Among the 151 articles reporting CBPHC and MM studies retrieved, 54 (35.7%) met the inclusion criteria for this review. The included studies provided examples of the three theoretical types of MM integration, the seven combinations of these types as well as the nine practical strategies. Overall, 15 combinations of these strategies were observed. No emerging strategy was observed that was not predicted by the conceptual framework.
Conclusions: This review can provide guidance to CBPHC researchers for planning, conducting and reporting practical strategies and combinations of strategies used for integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in MM research.
Keywords: Community-based primary health care; integration strategies; methodological review; mixed methods; research designs; research methods.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.