The role of simulation in mixed-methods research: A framework & application to patient safety

Jeanne Marie Guise, Matthew Hansen, William Lambert, Kerth O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Research in patient safety is an important area of health services research and is a national priority. It is challenging to investigate rare occurrences, explore potential causes, and account for the complex, dynamic context of healthcare - yet all are required in patient safety research. Simulation technologies have become widely accepted as education and clinical tools, but have yet to become a standard tool for research. Methods: We developed a framework for research that integrates accepted patient safety models with mixed-methods research approaches and describe the performance of the framework in a working example of a large National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded R01 investigation. Results: This worked example of a framework in action, identifies the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research approaches commonly used in health services research. Each approach builds essential layers of knowledge. We describe how the use of simulation ties these layers of knowledge together and adds new and unique dimensions of knowledge. Conclusions: A mixed-methods research approach that includes simulation provides a broad multi-dimensional approach to health services and patient safety research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number322
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • Emergency care
  • Health services research
  • Mixed methods
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Patient safety
  • Patient simulation
  • Pediatrics
  • Qualitative research
  • Research design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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