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Methods in an interdisciplinary project within health technology


Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Medicinteknikdagarna 2018


Background In health research, the interest in combining qualitative and quantitative methods is growing [1]. Mixed methods can be defined as “collecting, analyzing and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single or series of studies” [2], and provides a wider range of tools when addressing a complex or multidimensional question, such as in health research [1]. In a synergy project within health technology, the users contributed with input on how technology could be used to promote physical activity. The aim of this paper is to describe the methods used in this specific research project, and to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these methods. Material and Methods The project includes four studies, and the aim was; based on a user perspective, to develop a first model of an interactive health technology solution that is usable to encourage physically inactive adults to become more physically active. Results The project was initiated by a quantitative phase (study 1 and 2), was followed by a qualitative phase (study 3), and was ended by using a mixed methods phase (study 4). The project consisted of the following designs: Cross sectional comparative design (study 1), cross sectional design (study 2), explorative design (study 3) and mixed methods design based on user-centered design also including the technical development (study 4). Discussion To initiate the project by using physical measure and a questionnaire in study 1 and 2, to be able to screen the baseline, is a strength. Study 2 and 3 were complementary, because deeper information was generated by focus group interviews in study 3, which also enriched the result of these studies. Study 1-4 contributed to the technical development in study 4, by generating different user perspectives from user groups on how to develop the technology. In study 4, triangulation was applied, meaning that both qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods have been used to verify the findings, using both workshops, questionnaires and physical measure. The data in study 4 was partly analyzed and presented simultaneously in the usability evaluation. A possible weakness of study 4 can be that it consisted of several parts, was time consuming and difficult to summarize. The strength of study 4 is however a more comprehensive and broader outcome. Conclusion To use both quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods in this research project, have contributed to broader and deeper user input. This have in turn generated deeper understanding of this complex health research field, resulting in better outcome of the project. References [1] S. Tariq, J. Woodman. Using mixed methods in health research. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Short Reports, 2010; 0:1-8. [2] JW. Creswell, CVL. Plano. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2007.Acknowledgements This abstract was supported by the research profile Embedded Sensor Systems for Health (ESS-H), Mälardalen University, founded by the Knowledge Foundation (KKS), Sweden.


author = {Anna {\AA}kerberg},
title = {Methods in an interdisciplinary project within health technology},
month = {October},
year = {2018},
booktitle = {Medicinteknikdagarna 2018},
url = {}