A mixed-methods approach to systematic reviews

Alan Pearson, Heath White, Fiona Bath-Hextall, Susan Salmond, Joao Apostolo, Pamela Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


There are an increasing number of published single-method systematic reviews that focus on different types of evidence related to a particular topic. As policy makers and practitioners seek clear directions for decision-making from systematic reviews, it is likely that it will be increasingly difficult for them to identify 'what to do' if they are required to find and understand a plethora of syntheses related to a particular topic.Mixed-methods systematic reviews are designed to address this issue and have the potential to produce systematic reviews of direct relevance to policy makers and practitioners.On the basis of the recommendations of the Joanna Briggs Institute International Mixed Methods Reviews Methodology Group in 2012, the Institute adopted a segregated approach to mixed-methods synthesis as described by Sandelowski et al., which consists of separate syntheses of each component method of the review. Joanna Briggs Institute's mixed-methods synthesis of the findings of the separate syntheses uses a Bayesian approach to translate the findings of the initial quantitative synthesis into qualitative themes and pooling these with the findings of the initial qualitative synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Evidence synthesis
  • Evidence-based healthcare
  • Mixed-methods research
  • Mixed-methods reviews
  • Qualitative research
  • Systematic reviews


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