Making sense of qualitative and quantitative findings in mixed research synthesis studies

Corrine I. Voils, Margarete Sandelowski, Julie Barroso, Victor Hasselblad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research findings is increasingly promoted, but many of the conceptual and methodological issues it raises have yet to be fully understood and resolved. In this article, we describe how we handled issues encountered in efforts to synthesize the findings in forty-two reports of studies of antiretroviral adherence in HIV-positive women in the course of an ongoing study to develop methods to synthesize qualitative and quantitative research findings in common domains of health-related research. Working with these reports underscored the importance of looking past method claims and ideals and directly at the findings themselves, differentiating between aggregative syntheses in which findings are assimilated and interpretive syntheses in which they are configured, and understanding the judgments involved in designating relationships between findings as confirmatory, divergent, or complementary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalField Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiretroviral adherence
  • Qualitative research
  • Quantitative research
  • Research synthesis
  • Systematic review
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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