Introduction to Mixed Methods Research for Public Health


Course Number
CHL5129H
Series
5100 (Social and Behavioural Health Science)
Course Instructor(s)
Lori E. Ross, Dionne Gesink

Course Description

The goal of this course is to introduce the use of mixed methods public health research. Mixed methods approaches are becoming increasingly common in research across areas of public health. However, most research methods courses focus on either qualitative or quantitative methods, and rarely address how to meaningfully integrate the two. In this course, students will explore the epistemological and methodological issues involved in conducting mixed methods research in public health. Students will acquire the skills to critique mixed-method research designs and will design their own mixed methods study in an area of public health of interest to them. Both students who are primarily trained in quantitative methods (e.g., epidemiology) and students primarily trained in qualitative methods (e.g., social sciences) will benefit from this course, and opportunities will be provided for students to learn from one another’s expertise. By the end of the course, students can expect to be able to a) identify whether a mixed methods design is appropriate for their research problem; and b) identify learning gaps to be addressed through future advanced qualitative, quantitative and/or mixed methods courses.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Review of the key strengths and limitations of monomethod (qualitative and quantitative) designs
  • Strengths and limitations of mixed methods approaches in public health research
  • Theoretical and paradigm issues in mixed methods research
  • Mixed methods research questions and study designs
  • Mixed methods approaches to sampling, data collection and data analysis
  • Quality appraisal in mixed methods research
  • Writing and publishing mixed methods research

General Requirements

Prerequisites: At least one qualitative or quantitative research methods course, or permission of the instructors. This course is intended for students in the 2nd year of the Master’s program or any year of the PhD program.