Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(9), 3478-3488; doi:10.3390/ijerph7093478
Article

Levels of Reconstruction as Complementarity in Mixed Methods Research: A Social Theory-Based Conceptual Framework for Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Research

1 Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 3-50 University Terrace, 8303-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2T4, Canada 2 Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 4075 RTF, 8308-114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E1, Canada 3 Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 5-10 University Terrace, 8303-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2T4, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2010; in revised form: 9 September 2010 / Accepted: 10 September 2010 / Published: 16 September 2010
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Abstract: Like other areas of health research, there has been increasing use of qualitative methods to study public health problems such as injuries and injury prevention. Likewise, the integration of qualitative and quantitative research (mixed-methods) is beginning to assume a more prominent role in public health studies. Likewise, using mixed-methods has great potential for gaining a broad and comprehensive understanding of injuries and their prevention. However, qualitative and quantitative research methods are based on two inherently different paradigms, and their integration requires a conceptual framework that permits the unity of these two methods. We present a theory-driven framework for viewing qualitative and quantitative research, which enables us to integrate them in a conceptually sound and useful manner. This framework has its foundation within the philosophical concept of complementarity, as espoused in the physical and social sciences, and draws on Bergson’s metaphysical work on the ‘ways of knowing’. Through understanding how data are constructed and reconstructed, and the different levels of meaning that can be ascribed to qualitative and quantitative findings, we can use a mixed-methods approach to gain a conceptually sound, holistic knowledge about injury phenomena that will enhance our development of relevant and successful interventions.
Keywords: qualitative research; empirical research; research design; mixed methods research; public health; injury

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MDPI and ACS Style

Carroll, L.J.; Rothe, J.P. Levels of Reconstruction as Complementarity in Mixed Methods Research: A Social Theory-Based Conceptual Framework for Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 3478-3488.

AMA Style

Carroll LJ, Rothe JP. Levels of Reconstruction as Complementarity in Mixed Methods Research: A Social Theory-Based Conceptual Framework for Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(9):3478-3488.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carroll, Linda J.; Rothe, J. Peter. 2010. "Levels of Reconstruction as Complementarity in Mixed Methods Research: A Social Theory-Based Conceptual Framework for Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Research." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 9: 3478-3488.

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