Wondering about the Whole Mind Approach? | MDRG

Why We Use the WHOLE MIND

Nathalie Dupont

Associate Qualitative Analyst

“Quality is essential to the nature of things. Quantity is elementally the amount of something.”

WHOLE MIND

There are many writings on both the benefits of qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection. Each has stand-out applications for answering certain questions at large. We see the benefit of each, but do not limit these approaches to one or the other when developing research. There are times when quantitative studies will be more useful and there are instances when qualitative studies will be more fruitful. However, there are also occurrences when both approaches, in conjunction, are best. Thus, at MDRG, we are interested in the “WHOLE MIND”.

So why utilize the WHOLE MIND?

Overall benefit of the WHOLE MIND

Both qualitative and quantitative approaches have weaknesses, so in effect where one fails, the other offers support. “Mixed methods combine inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning” (Mahmood 2017). When both are utilized, the qualitative results provide a story or explanation for the numbers. “The researcher can use both words and numbers to communicate the results and findings and thus appeals to a wider audience” (Mahmood 2017). You get counts plus feelings, perceptions, and context. Therefore, the findings are complete, valid, and confirmed through utilizing observations and statistical analyses (Hussein 2009). Because MDRG has dedicated researchers on both sides of the aisle, we are able to offer the Whole Mind Approach and deliver ample results.

The main benefit of the WHOLE MIND is that they are complimentary. Stories and context via qualitative research will back-up the numbers produced by quantitative studies and vice versa (i.e. statistical significance to back-up stories). In other words, stories and context bring numbers to life. By using mixed-methods, you bolster the strengths and neutralize weaknesses of each approach.

WHOLE MIND in Practice

  • A researcher may conduct interviews to explore how individuals describe or feel about a topic and then use that information to develop a more useful quantitative survey.
  • The researcher uses focus groups to collect information regarding a topic and then uses a quantitative survey with a larger group to validate the responses of the focus group.
  • A researcher may collect data using a quantitative data instrument such as a survey. The researcher may then follow up by interviewing a subset of the participants to learn more detailed information about some of the survey responses, providing a more thorough understanding of results. At MDRG we provided a regional medical center with insights following a large-scale survey to provide detailed information which addressed particular survey questions on Emergency Room experience in order to improve future patient experiences.
  • A business may have multiple research questions that require the two different methods to answer all inquiries properly. For example, we are currently working with a local business to understand the popular perceptions of the industry through qualitative methods, while assessing their advertising success quantitatively to better inform their future ad campaigns.


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