Reviews

Social research

I found Sarantakos‘s book to be a clear and straightforward guide to social research methods. The book is aimed at undergraduate level, and I am sure will appeal to students from a range of disciplines. The structure of the book reflects the different stages of the research process and as such it is easy to locate all the required sections. It introduces qualitative and quantitative approaches in a balanced way and includes sufficient detail of the philosophical roots of each of these research traditions. It was good to find simple and easy to follow accounts of the complex underpinning of a number of research approach that are popular in nursing research. Included are topics such as interpretivism, symbolic interactionism and phenomenology as well the more usually found hallmarks of positivistic-type research. While feminism and feministic research in nursing is an important subject area I did wonder if the amount of attention they received were perhaps a little unbalanced when related to the other subject areas covered. There are, however, useful sections on data collection and analysis. I found, for example, the section on grounded theory approaches to data analysis particularly good.

Areas that I thought could detract from its use as a primary research text book for undergraduate nurses included a lack of detail about practice-based research and in particular in regard to the evidence-based practice agenda in healthcare research. For example, the review of the literature section was relatively short and did not include any of the principles of undertaking a systematic review. Also while a research critique was included, it was addressed as integral to the descriptions of the various traditions in research. This approach, I felt, detracted a little from the importance of research critique for healthcare practitioners. Finally, the section on ethical dimensions of research did not really take account of research governance issues in healthcare today. However, these latter points really stem from the fact that the book is not solely targeted at healthcare students. Therefore, if approached as a general introductory textbook, it should meet

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Areas that I thought could detract from its use as a primary research text book for undergraduate nurses included a lack of detail about practice-based research and in particular in regard to the evidence-based practice agenda in healthcare research. For example, the review of the literature section was relatively short and did not include any of the principles of undertaking a systematic review. Also while a research critique was included, it was addressed as integral to the descriptions of the various traditions in research. This approach, I felt, detracted a little from the importance of research critique for healthcare practitioners. Finally, the section on ethical dimensions of research did not really take account of research governance issues in healthcare today. However, these latter points really stem from the fact that the book is not solely targeted at healthcare students. Therefore, if approached as a general introductory textbook, it should meet the needs of most undergraduate student nurses as it is a clear, easily understood accessible introduction to social research methods

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