Systematic Development of Standards for Mixed Methods Reporting in Rehabilitation Health Sciences Research

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Objective: Mixed methods research (MMR) integrates quantitative and qualitative methods throughout the research process to answer complex research questions. Mixed methods research designs align with the guiding frameworks of patient-centered care and social determinants of health by effectively examining the role of contextual factors and human experiences in influencing health and rehabilitation outcomes. Reporting standards and critical appraisal tools ensure quality and transparency of the research process. Mixed methods research standards exist yet there is a need for reporting guidelines and an appraisal tool that meets field standards, is applicable across rehabilitation fields of study, and can accommodate the range of possibilities for combining research approaches and methods.

Methods: The Mixed Methods Reporting in Rehabilitation & Health Science (MMR-RHS) was developed using a systematic consensus-building process in accordance with published guidance and was preregistered with the Equator Network. MMR-RHS evolved through a sequence of steps including extensive literature review, expert consultation, stakeholder feedback, pilot testing, and tool refinement.

Results: MMR-RHS consists of 20 criteria that align with field standards for rigor and transparency with emphasis on integration throughout the research process, a key component of mixed methods research.

Conclusions: A systematic process was utilized to develop reporting standards and an appraisal tool for mixed methods research in rehabilitation and health science. The tool is comprehensive, includes a set of criteria grounded in mixed methods research literature, and is flexible for application to a range of mixed methods research designs commonly seen in rehabilitation research.

Impact: The MMR-RHS may improve quality and transparency of mixed methods research by supporting investigators, authors, reviewers, and editors during project development, manuscript preparation, and critical review. The tool may assist readers in critical appraisal, knowledge translation, and application of published mixed methods research findings. Ultimately, the MMR-RHS may help legitimize mixed methods in rehabilitation and health research, an important step toward understanding the complexities of healthcare, patient outcomes, and evolving societal health needs.


Online ahead of print September 6, 2023.






Oxford University Press