The research design involving mixed methods counseling encompasses the use of research methods that are quantitative and qualitative within the same investigation. This combination creates a critical analysis of the research problem being handled. The use of a mix of the formula is a chief research model that avails a substitute to the quantitative and qualitative exploration. The technique pays attention to the compatibility notion. The implication of this is that both techniques can be harmonized within the same investigation (Benz & Newman, 2008). Pioneers of the mixed research method attempt to utilize the fundamental principle of mixed methodology. This principle involves the utilization of complementary strengths and non-overlapping weaknesses of research methods to produce the best research results. This article explores the ability to apply and make use of the integration of techniques and how one can utilize them to establish practices in counseling that are evidence-based.
The method operates under two basic principles that guide and control its applicability. The law stipulates that all practical decisions have to be made based on one’s options in research studies.
Application of Integrated Techniques to Practice that is Evidence-based
Evidence-based practice requires outcome research (Grove, Burns & Gray, 2013). The counselors in the counseling profession are facing two significant challenges. One of them is the ability to generate enough amounts of data for examination. Another challenge is the concern of teaching the counselors to bring into being facts that are vitally broken down to get the meaning in the data. (Heppner, Wampold & Kivligham, 2008).
Strengths of Mixed Methods Research
Mixed methods research is considered the best research approach in conducting a research study since it answers a wide range of research questions. It has a wider scope since it utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. The research method also gives a better understanding of the study, much more than can be achieved while using a single method. Collaboration, as well as the convergence of research findings, provides a stronger platform for extracting evidence and coming up with a conclusive decision (Hanson, Crewswell, Plano & Petska, 2005). The methods also present a platform for generalization of results since the researcher is contented that the best method has been applied.
Limitations of Mixed Methods Research
Although the mixed research method is comprehensive in its approach to research studies, it is difficult for a researcher to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research. The situation is worse in cases where more than one approach is expected to be applied simultaneously. The researcher also has to have knowledge of multiple methods and understand how the different approaches are mixed to come up with a comprehensive research study. Additionally, methodological purists prescribe that you have to work within either of the two paradigms and not a cross-section of the two research methods.
The method can be exhaustively utilized in informing evidence-based practices. The research method has many expectations and promises great discussion and methodological work on mixed research shortly. This is hopefully expected since more authors and researchers are becoming aware of this advantageous approach to empirical studies. However, the attractiveness of this research approach should not be used to disregard other methods. Research methods are applied according to the research question being handled.
Benz, C. R. & Newman, I. (2008). Mixed methods research: exploring the interactive continuum. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.
Grove, S. K., Burns, N & Gray, J. (2013). The practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Saunders.
Hanson, W. E., Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L., Petska, K. S., & Creswell, D. J. (2005). Mixed methods research design in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(1), 224–235.
Heppner, P., Wampold, B. E. & Kivlighan, D. M. (2008) Research design in counseling. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.