Reviews

Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisal, and utilization

Perhaps not obvious from the title, this book is designed to guide the reader through the process of finding, reading, and critically evaluating published nursing research, and to consider the practical use to which research findings may be put. The reader is led systematically through the stages of finding published studies (with reference to widely available databases), reviewing them in relation to their ethical implications and theoretical bases, scrutinising their design, sampling, data collection and analysis methods, and evaluating the quality of the data generated. Guidelines for producing a written critique of published studies are provided. The book ends with a focus on using research evidence, referring to key models for evidence-based nursing practice. While barriers to research utilisation are discussed, a greater emphasis on this topic might have been expected, given the inclusion of research utilisation within the book’s title.

Now in its sixth edition, changes have been introduced to make this version even more interactive than before. Full research studies (and many summaries of studies) are included, either within the text or on the accompanying CD-Rom, with invitations to readers to conduct critiques of these studies and then compare their critiques with examples provided by the authors. The CD-Rom also contains self-study review questions related to each chapter.

This edition also places greater emphasis than before on qualitative research studies, with a particular focus on grounded theory, ethnography, and phenomenology. While this is welcome and reflects the growing body of qualitative research evidence within health care, it could be argued that there are other qualitative methods available to and used by nurse researchers, such as discourse analytic and narrative methods, which might have warranted more than a brief reference.

A further innovation is the inclusion of ‘how to tell’

...

Now in its sixth edition, changes have been introduced to make this version even more interactive than before. Full research studies (and many summaries of studies) are included, either within the text or on the accompanying CD-Rom, with invitations to readers to conduct critiques of these studies and then compare their critiques with examples provided by the authors. The CD-Rom also contains self-study review questions related to each chapter.

This edition also places greater emphasis than before on qualitative research studies, with a particular focus on grounded theory, ethnography, and phenomenology. While this is welcome and reflects the growing body of qualitative research evidence within health care, it could be argued that there are other qualitative methods available to and used by nurse researchers, such as discourse analytic and narrative methods, which might have warranted more than a brief reference.

A further innovation is the inclusion of ‘how to tell’ tips, along with consumer tips, guiding the reader to key words and phrases used within research reports to help them make decisions about the content and quality of the work. For example, readers wishing to know how to tell whether a study is experimental are guided to search for terms such as ‘examine the effectiveness of’ an ‘intervention’ or ‘treatment’. Chapters include key terms and summary points, and there is a useful glossary.

With today’s emphasis on evidencebased practice in health care, this affordable book should be an essential reference for practitioners, teachers, and researchers in identifying, understanding, and evaluating the available evidence within their field.

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?