Reviews

Participatory Action Research in Health Care

On first perusal, this book seemed ideal for healthcare professionals interested in developing public involvement or community development strategies. On closer inspection, however, the book is

clearly targeted at academics interested in ‘participation action research’ as a method of inquiry. The first half of the book gives practical tips to researchers on the research process and offers details on storytelling analysis, transcription and feedback cycles. There are also useful chapters on facilitation and rigour in relation to assuring quality of this approach. Each chapter has a summarising paragraph, and an index at the end of the book makes dipping into the book very feasible.

In the second half of the book, findings from participatory action projects are given (for example, with asthma sufferers, mental health users with incontinence; helping clients set self care goals). These make fascinating reading in their own right, as well as serving to explore aspects of the research process, for example, ethical considerations.

Although the authors are Australian and the research focus is ‘down under’, this does not detract from the relevance

...

clearly targeted at academics interested in ‘participation action research’ as a method of inquiry. The first half of the book gives practical tips to researchers on the research process and offers details on storytelling analysis, transcription and feedback cycles. There are also useful chapters on facilitation and rigour in relation to assuring quality of this approach. Each chapter has a summarising paragraph, and an index at the end of the book makes dipping into the book very feasible.

In the second half of the book, findings from participatory action projects are given (for example, with asthma sufferers, mental health users with incontinence; helping clients set self care goals). These make fascinating reading in their own right, as well as serving to explore aspects of the research process, for example, ethical considerations.

Although the authors are Australian and the research focus is ‘down under’, this does not detract from the relevance of the book to readers here, and in other countries. It will be an interesting and fascinating read for public health and policy makers, as well as to qualitative searchers in the UK. I would recommend it to all although the price may be off putting to some.

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