Objective: The mixed methods appraisal tool (MMAT) was developed for critically appraising different study designs. This study aimed to improve the content validity of three of the five categories of studies in the MMAT by identifying relevant methodological criteria for appraising the quality of qualitative, survey, and mixed methods studies.
Study design and setting: First, we performed a literature review to identify critical appraisal tools and extract methodological criteria. Second, we conducted a two-round modified e-Delphi technique. We asked three method-specific panels of experts to rate the relevance of each criterion on a five-point Likert scale.
Results: A total of 383 criteria were extracted from 18 critical appraisal tools and a literature review on the quality of mixed methods studies, and 60 were retained. In the first and second rounds of the e-Delphi, 73 and 56 experts participated, respectively. Consensus was reached for six qualitative criteria, eight survey criteria, and seven mixed methods criteria. These results led to modifications of eight of the 11 MMAT (version 2011) criteria. Specifically, we reformulated two criteria, replaced four, and removed two. Moreover, we added six new criteria.
Conclusion: Results of this study led to improve the content validity of this tool, revise it, and propose a new version (MMAT version 2018).
Keywords: Delphi technique; Mixed methods research; Qualitative research; Quality appraisal; Surveys; Systematic review.
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