’The book is suitable for newcomers to research with no prior knowledge, hoping to access an introductory guide as a starting point or useful overview’
Title: Making Sense of Research in Nursing, Health and Social Care - 6th edition
Author: Pam Moule
Reviewer: Liz Charalambous
What was it like?
Now in its 6th edition, this slim guide offers the reader a concise menu to provide an ‘amuse-bouche’ taster to the huge subject area of research and all its components. A behemoth task in itself, the book does not fail to illuminate key concepts in research, including epistemology, ethics, literature, study design, data collection, analysis and dissemination. The book contains practice examples to facilitate understanding. Each chapter is usefully organised into learning outcomes, key concepts and points, lists of suggested reading and further material. There is a reference list at the end and glossary of terms for quick access. While offering a concise overview of the research process the book also signposts the reader to further resources for follow up reading so provides a useful, and in some ways non-threatening, resource to what may be considered to be a formidable area. It covers all the key concepts of the research process with signposting onto further reading and websites, and is a good starting point.
What were the highlights?
The strengths of the book are that the author has the professional credentials to deliver such a book being a professor of health sciences research, engaging in teaching research, publications, on the editorial board of a nursing journal, as well as reviewing papers.
Strengths & weaknesses:
Each chapter could be the content of an entire book but author skilfully condenses complex subject matter to offer the reader an easy introduction to research. It is important to see an entire chapter dedicated to disseminating research, as well as the inclusion of public and patient involvement. The absence of illustrations does not detract from the message, but the easy to understand diagrams support the text. Of course, the experienced researcher will most likely bypass this book in favour of a more comprehensive volume but nevertheless, explaining complex subject matter in simple easy to understand language aimed at a essentially a novice audience is a skill which the author shares with her readership. Because of the concise nature of the book the author can be forgiven for the omission of some aspects of the research process, the readership will not miss out because of the suggestions for further reading.
Who should read it?
The book is suitable for newcomers to research with no prior knowledge, hoping to access an introductory guide as a starting point or useful overview. Undergraduates in health sciences wishing to access an introduction to the research process or anyone wishing to dip their toe into the field of research will find this book helpful.