Judith Lathlean

Making sense of research

EACH SECTION of this publication, which is intended as an introduction to research, is easy to read to gain the ‘bones’ of the activities related to investigation. Sections include the nature of knowledge in health and social care, the research process, ethics, literature reviewing, data collection methods and analysis.

Celebrating nurses a visual history

IT IS rare to find a book about the history and importance of nursing that captures the imagination and can be read and appreciated from beginning to end in one sitting. However, Celebrating Nurses – A Visual History is one such exception. It is described as ‘an accessible history of the nursing profession’ with ‘fascinating facts’ and ‘the testimony of nurses past and present [telling] the story of nursing through the centuries’. It has clearly been meticulously researched – and is beautifully illustrated with sepia, black and white and full-colour plates.

Researching the Vulnerable

This book is refreshing, both as an addition to the general research literature and as a text that considers cultural and social issues in studies relating to improving the situation of vulnerable people – a group that forms such an important focus of a great deal of health and social research.

reviews and round-up

A regular look at recent publications relevant to health care and nursing research

Qualitative methods for health research

When I first looked at this book I wondered if there was room for yet another title on qualitative research in health. Indeed, the authors point out that there are already many excellent introductory textbooks available on this topic. However they have identified similar gaps in the literature as I have in working particularly with postgraduate students and neophyte researchers. In my view, their book has largely been successful in filling the gaps.

Evaluation: a systematic approach

This is the seventh edition of a much- referred-to classic text on programme evaluation. As the authors point out, when the book was first published in the l970s, evaluation of social programmes was not well-established — a situation which is very different now with evaluation research embedded throughout all types of public and non-public organisations and on a global basis. This makes the new edition a little less revolutionary, although a lot more useful.

Practicing evaluation: a collaborative approach

This book is based on the author ’s experience of undertaking evaluation across a variety of places and programmes, motivated by a desire to contribute to ‘social service’ programmes. The author promotes an approach called collaborative evaluation, which has similarities with participatory and empowerment evaluation. However, she suggests that this book demonstrates some ‘novel variations’ which should cause experienced evaluators to ‘reflect on their practice ad the reasons they proceed in the manner they do’.