A systematic review of mixed methods research on human factors and ergonomics in health care

Pascale Carayon, Sarah Kianfar, Yaqiong Li, Anping Xie, Bashar Alyousef, Abigail Wooldridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This systematic literature review provides information on the use of mixed methods research in human factors and ergonomics (HFE) research in health care. Using the PRISMA methodology, we searched four databases (PubMed, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and Engineering Village) for studies that met the following inclusion criteria: (1) field study in health care, (2) mixing of qualitative and quantitative data, (3) HFE issues, and (4) empirical evidence. Using an iterative and collaborative process supported by a structured data collection form, the six authors identified a total of 58 studies that primarily address HFE issues in health information technology (e.g., usability) and in the work of healthcare workers. About two-thirds of the mixed methods studies used the convergent parallel study design where quantitative and qualitative data were collected simultaneously. A variety of methods were used for collecting data, including interview, survey and observation. The most frequent combination involved interview for qualitative data and survey for quantitative data. The use of mixed methods in healthcare HFE research has increased over time. However, increasing attention should be paid to the formal literature on mixed methods research to enhance the depth and breadth of this research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-321
Number of pages31
JournalApplied Ergonomics
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Health care
  • Mixed methods research
  • Qualitative and quantitative data
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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