Using Mixed Methods in Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Authors

  • Thilo Kroll PhD,

    Senior Research Associate, Corresponding author
    1. National Rehabilitation Hospital, Center for Health and Disability Research, Washington, DC.
      National Rehabilitation Hospital, Center for Health and Disability Research, 102 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010-2949, or via email to thilo.kroll@medstar.net
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  • Melinda T. Neri BA,

    Research Associate
    1. National Rehabilitation Hospital, Center for Health and Disability Research, Washington, DC.
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  • Kaye Miller MSN CRRN

    Staff Nurse
    1. Washington Adventist Hospital, Takoma Park, MD.
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National Rehabilitation Hospital, Center for Health and Disability Research, 102 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010-2949, or via email to thilo.kroll@medstar.net

Abstract

This paper will discuss the theoretical design considerations and the practical integration of quantitative and qualitative methods in disability and rehabilitation research, which have gained recent popularity among researchers of various disciplines. Whereas quantitative experimental and survey approaches allow researchers to draw generalizable conclusions that apply to a particular population as a whole, qualitative methods capture the depth of respondents' experiences in their own words. Qualitative methods may be used to explore new topical areas prior to implementing a population-based survey, or they may follow quantitative approaches to explain findings in greater detail. We will discuss research findings from two recent studies of rehabilitation industry professionals and people with physical disabilities to exemplify the utility of mixed-method designs in disability and rehabilitation research. The article will conclude with recommendations for rehabilitation nursing researchers to apply both qualitative and quantitative methods in their research practice.

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