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death and dying' hospice, methodology, palliative care, physical function, psychological adaptation, religion, research methods, Roy adaptation model, social support, spirituality, triangulation



  1. Dobratz, Marjorie C. DNSc, RN


Some researchers promote a triangulated or multiple-methods approach in studies that examine complex human phenomenon. Nonetheless, problems abound in combining 2 dissimilar data sets from 2 different methodologies. One way that numerical and textual data can be merged is through a research method called statistical triangulation. The purpose of this article was to describe the statistical triangulation of a simultaneous, between-methods causal model and grounded theory investigation that explained psychological adaptation in dying persons. The statistical triangulation involved the analysis of selected patterns of dying from the grounded theory study with the variables used in the causal model investigation. A 1-way analysis of variance confirmed that the variables of social support, physical function, and religious preference impacted end-of-life patterns. Post hoc comparisons validated the conceptualization of 3 patterns of dying (becoming, anguishing/agonizing, avoiding) that emerged from the qualitative data. Although there are limitations to this analysis, statistical triangulation shows promise as a research method for enriching qualitative description.