• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is a primary, comprehensive textbook for people who are considering undertaking a piece of health-related research. It is an accessible companion with the aim of getting the reader to think broadly about all of the issues that need to be considered when embarking on a project. This is a pragmatic book, a step-by-step guide to research which mirrors the structure of a research project, taking you through the thought process for designing and conducting your study from formulating the right research question at idea inception, ascertaining what methodologies and analysis can answer what type of questions, right through to dissemination, all presented in an easy, digestible style. The book is full of case study illustrations and practical tips such as how to work out a research budget and obtaining funding for your project, discussion of what permissions need to obtained when conducting research with people, and how to involve public and patients. The authors are all experienced researchers and so this book is an accumulation of collective wisdom on common research challenges and issues.

Asking the Right Question
Asking the right question
Peter S. BlairAndy Barton
Learning Objectives
  • Appreciate the importance of a clear and focused research question
  • To be able to use criteria such as PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) to frame an answerable question
  • Understand the need for primary and secondary questions and the process of refinement
  • To understand what a hypothesis is and how it differs from the aims and objectives of a study
  • Be aware of over-interpreting the findings, post-hoc assumptions and spurious associations
  • Understand the answer and appreciate negative results

In health services research, asking the right question is important because everything else hinges upon it, such as your choice of study design, the interpretation of your results and their impact on clinical practice. Often when a researcher is having ...

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