Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research

Joanna E M Sale, Lynne H Lohfeld, Kevin Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health care research includes many studies that combine quantitative and qualitative methods. In this paper, we revisit the quantitative-qualitative debate and review the arguments for and against using mixed-methods. In addition, we discuss the implications stemming from our view, that the paradigms upon which the methods are based have a different view of reality and therefore a different view of the phenomenon under study. Because the two paradigms do not study the same phenomena, quantitative and qualitative methods cannot be combined for cross-validation or triangulation purposes. However, they can be combined for complementary purposes. Future standards for mixed-methods research should clearly reflect this recommendation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Journal Article

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