Methods & Meanings

The Use of Triangulation in Qualitative Research

Nancy Carter

Denise Bryant-Lukosius

Alba DiCenso

Jennifer Blythe

Alan J. Neville

triangulation, in-depth individual interviews, focus groups, qualitative research
ONF 2014, 41(5), 545-547. DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.545-547

Triangulation refers to the use of multiple methods or data sources in qualitative research to develop a comprehensive understanding of phenomena (Patton, 1999). Triangulation also has been viewed as a qualitative research strategy to test validity through the convergence of information from different sources. Denzin (1978) and Patton (1999) identified four types of triangulation: (a) method triangulation, (b) investigator triangulation, (c) theory triangulation, and (d) data source triangulation. The current article will present the four types of triangulation followed by a discussion of the use of focus groups (FGs) and in-depth individual (IDI) interviews as an example of data source triangulation in qualitative inquiry.

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