Action research: changing nursing practice
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Action research: changing nursing practice

Desley Gail Hegney Honorary professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Southern Queensland, School of Nursing, The University of Adelaide, Australia
Karen Francis Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Australian Catholic University and St John of God Health Care, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

This article describes action research as a methodology and gives two examples of its application to nursing and health services research. Action research is cyclical in nature and involves the development, evaluation and redefining of an action plan using four basic steps: planning, action, observation and reflection. These cycles of action continue until the research group is satisfied that its objectives have been met. Data generation and analysis are iterative processes that occur continuously throughout the project, which is usually time-limited. Factors that should be taken into account to ensure success include: engaging the community, consideration of ‘insider’ versus ‘outsider’ perspectives, competing agendas, expectations not being met and the integrity of the research methodology.

Nursing Standard. 29, 40, 36-41. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.40.36.e8710


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 20 December 2013

Accepted: 03 March 2014

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