Mixed methods: a paradigm for holistic evaluation of health IT

Philip James Scott

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This contribution offers an overview of the 'third research paradigm', its historical roots and its relevance for health informatics. Using illustrative studies, we explore the concepts of triangulation and integration of quantitative and qualitative data and refute common philosophical objections to mixing different types of knowledge. We consider how the mixed method paradigm relates to two programme design and evaluation frameworks that are important for health informatics: realist evaluation and Theory of Change. We discuss how to manage practical challenges to this approach and explain how mixed method studies support an evidence-based approach to real world policy, planning and investment decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvidence-based health informatics
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting safety and efficiency through scientific methods and ethical policy
EditorsElske Ammenwerth, Michael Rigby
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-635-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-634-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


  • theoretical effectiveness
  • evidence-based practice
  • epistemology
  • informatics
  • outcome and process assessment
  • program evaluation
  • qualitative evaluation
  • quantitative evaluation
  • randomized controlled clinical trials
  • research design


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