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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


GARCIA GONZALEZ, Rosario. Usefulness of integration and convergence of qualitative and quantitative methods in health research. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.1, pp.19-29. ISSN 0864-3466.

The objective of this paper is to comment on the possibility of integration and convergence of the quantitative and qualitative methods in health research. It also intends to characterize both methods and to illustrate them with concrete researches in the health field. The information offered is based on the bibliographic review, the theoretical exposition and the presentation of results obtained in social and educational research in the diabetes field. Both methods have different research aims and different ways of approaching the phenomenon to be studied, its advantages and limitations. The quantitative method is useful to measure the magnitude of a phenomenon, whereas the qualitative method serves to interpret how and why this phenomenon occurs. It also allows to get closer to the phenomenon from the perspective of the meanings that the actors give to the process in which they are immersed. The health researches were not foreign to the controversial debate caused by the introduction of the qualitative method into scientific research, but starting from the basis that the set of qualitative and quatitative data do not oppose or exclude each other, the integration of both methods may potentiate scientific research instead of making it difficult. The integration and convergence of both methods may contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon under study. The application of social sciences to the study and understanding of the health/disease processes facilitate the transfer of the bio-medical to the bio-social approach and leads to the use of qualitative methodology for research.

Palabras clave : Quantitative research; qualitative research; health research; social sciences; diabetes mellitus.

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