Chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Diagnosing, treating, and understanding chronic pain creates many challenges for healthcare. Is the challenge on how to properly diagnose and manage a patient’s pain? Or is the challenge on whether or not to prescribe pain medications given the concerns with addiction as a result of the opioid epidemic?

Consider the questions posed above. How might the use of qualitative and quantitative methods serve to provide answers for researchers regarding the challenges associated with chronic pain? What can qualitative data provide that quantitative data cannot, and vice versa? How might a mixed methods approach fill in the gaps to provide a clearer understanding of the problem and potential solutions?

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For this Discussion, reflect on an issue or problem in healthcare that may benefit from a mixed methods approach. Think about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods and designs, as well as how these two methods might work well together. Consider how a mixed methods approach supports evidence-based practice.

Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider the differences between qualitative and quantitative research designs and methods.
Consider an example of a topic or issue in nursing in which both qualitative and quantitative research approaches might be necessary,
Reflect on how a mixed methods approach lends itself to evidence-based practice.

Post an explanation of when it might be most useful to use both qualitative and quantitative approaches or mixed methods to support a research design. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain whether a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches are used in systematic reviews to support evidence-based practice. Be specific.

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