Doing Interdisciplinary Mixed Methods Health Care Research: Working the Boundaries, Tensions, and Synergistic Potential of Team-Based Research:

One of the most talked about subjects of study in terms of interdisciplinary studies is the health care field. This article written by Sharlene Hesse-Biber depicts the current trends in health care research, focusing on the process of how is has shifted from models of disciplinary to interdisciplinary team-based mixed methods inquiry designs. Over time different factors and issues were compared and contrasted to see which were most efficient when facilitating interdisciplinary mixed methods team-based research. More specifically, how disciplinary can keep one in their comfort zones, lack attention to team dynamics and low levels of reflexivity which can alter the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary team.

Due to the fact that health care systems are very complex and ever changing, it is important to have a collaborative interdisciplinary team ready to conduct research on each aspect of the study. This will promote innovative research environments which could potentially undercover new research methods creating a new means of diverse research.

Mixed Methods Research

The idea of mixed methods research parallels with interdisciplinary research teams. It provides “the flexiblity and power of inquiry needed needed to tackle complex analytical and interpretive issues, given its multi-methodological pragmatic approach and wide range of applications”.  In an easier sense, this mean when conducting research, it includes collecting, analyzing and integrating quantitative research and qualitative research. Quantitative research is important because it involves experiments and surveys as well as qualitative which focuses on groups of people and individual interviews all of which strengthen the main point of research in collaboration.

Personal Interdisciplinary Experience

According to the Plymouth State University’s textbook; Interdisciplinary Studies: A connected learning approach the term interdisciplinarity can be defined as the incorporation of several fields of study to allow collabortation among diverse disciplines to either specify or broaden students’ education, to gain understanding, and/or to problem solve. And the term interdiscipline is defined as a field that emerges when two or more disciplines are combined. Referring back to mixed methods health care research these two terms both seem to have a common theme. This being the more information a team collects, the stronger and more diverse the research will be presented.

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2 thoughts on “Doing Interdisciplinary Mixed Methods Health Care Research: Working the Boundaries, Tensions, and Synergistic Potential of Team-Based Research:”

  1. Fix this:

    More specifically, how disciplinary can keep one in their comfort zones,

    should be

    More specifically, how disciplinarITY can keep one in their comfort zones,

    (you can trash this comment!)

  2. This is a great post that actually any IDS student would be lucky to come across. The value of interdisciplinary research in health care seems particularly important given the life and death effects, but you really show how diversity in both expertise and in methodology can yield better results in general as teams approach challenges. Love this, and love the linking back to the idea of an “interdiscipline” at the end. Perhaps in many ways the field of “Health” is becoming (or has always really been!) an interdiscipline….

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