Matron would be be proud of this

Nursing Research

February 23, 2007

The potential for research to improve nursing practice and patient care is significant, but this is dependent on the preparation of student nurses and practitioners to undertake high-quality research and to use the findings of research in practice in a meaningful way. Kader Parahoo's text offers a clear and thorough introduction to the many principles and processes involved in research.

It could be argued that nursing research does not exist as a discipline in its own right. This argument is based on the notion that health and social care is not delivered in professional isolation, so how can nursing be a research discipline that is so different from other forms of health and social care research? Many nurses are involved in research that does not strictly meet the common definition of nursing research, but their work is no less important to the delivery of health and social care.

Parahoo considers this complex issue, but the resulting conclusion seems to be similar to those described above - that the delivery of health and social care is based on interdisciplinary practice and that much high-quality and clinically useful research undertaken by nurses would not fit into even the broadest definition of nursing research.

This argument is important because of the title of this book. By focusing on nursing research, the potential audience for this book has been restricted unnecessarily. Nursing Research: Principles, Process and Issues is excellent and has much to offer practitioners from all clinical disciplines.

It can sometimes be difficult to understand why a new edition of a book has been published, but that is not the case with this text. This work clearly reflects how attitudes and approaches to research have changed since the first edition was published. The growing clinical emphasis on evidence-based practice and the ever more popular use of mixed-method approaches are highlighted in new chapters. Content has also been enhanced to reflect changes to the requirements of research ethics and new requirements related to research governance. Parahoo also provides more information about systematic reviews, which is increasingly being recognised as a legitimate and useful tool in the researcher's armoury.

Most, if not all, researchers will agree that they need one good research methodology text on their shelves, and it is increasingly becoming the case that clinicians also need to have a research text available to them in their evidence-based working lives. This revised edition, like its predecessor, meets the needs of both groups - an achievement that is managed by only a few of the great many research texts available. A large number of methodology texts offer nothing new to the researcher's library.

This book is easy to read for novice researchers and students, and yet it also covers the mater-ial in sufficient depth to be of value to seasoned researchers and experienced clinicians. I would recommend this book to all involved in health and social care research - and not only to nurses.

Leslie Gelling is senior research fellow, Institute of Health and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University.

Nursing Research: Principles, Process and Issues. Second Edition

Author - Kader Parahoo
Publisher - Palgrave Macmillan
Pages - 496
Price - £19.99
ISBN - 0 333 987 6

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