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The nursing profession has adopted many of its theoretical foundations, including research approaches, from other academic disciplines This has resulted in the acceptance of one epistemological perspective to the exclusion of others In this context, the evolution of nursing research reflects a rather conservative approach The quantitative approach was the dominant paradigm of the 1950s, 1960s and during the 1970s and 1980s the research approach has been increasingly located in the qualitative paradigm It is noted that each research perspective has several inherent differences which give rise to a specific type of research endeavour Within the literature there is general support for the separateness of the quantitative qualitative paradigm However in accepting the inherent differences between the two methods, nurse researchers have been concerned that neither method in isolation from the other will truly provide an understanding of human beings and of their health-related needs, problems or nursing care Triangulation as a research strategy represents a means of integrating the two research approaches Triangulation, first used in 1959, is defined as a combination of multi methods in a study of the same object or event to depict more accurately the phenomenon being investigated The literature exploring the merits of triangulation is incomplete However, it is reported that triangulation, by reconciling the paradigmatic assumptions inherent to quantitative and qualitative methods, provides rich and productive data Triangulation does offer an alternative to the bi-polar quantitative and qualitative approaches and a means of reconciling the two methodological encampments