Action research is a methodology used to identify clinical practice problems and develop potential solutions to improve the quality of care. Hockley and Stacpoole (2014) define action research as “a critical, dynamic and collaborative process where the researcher engages in spirals of planning and action, observing and reflecting with those taking part” (p. 110). This approach emphasizes the participatory nature of the study and the importance of communities and people, compared to traditional quantitative and qualitative methods focused on data collection and analysis (Hockley & Stacpoole, 2014). Overall, action research involves healthcare staff in researching their clinical practice, which emphasizes the need for critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative work.
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In my view, action research fits well into the healthcare setting given its participatory and solution-seeking nature. This method is concerned with people, communities, and their interactions, which means that it shares the humanistic values that are central to healthcare practitioners (Hockley & Stacpoole, 2014). Compared to traditional academic research methodologies, action research promotes the active engagement of subjects. According to Kros and Rosenthal (2016), the key function of statistics can be viewed as “the process of using a sample to make inferences about a larger population” (p. 15). It is worth noting that this approach is the only and most effective way to make decisions in many cases. Action research enhances practice due to critical reflection based on the evidence collected.
To conclude, the reflective nature of action research makes it an effective framework for exploring and addressing the problems within various healthcare settings. It involves all stakeholders as contributors, while with traditional methodologies, some of them would be regarded as subjects. Action research emphasizes the importance of people, collaboration, evidence-based decisions, and reflection. Therefore, it allows for developing practical solutions to improve the quality of care.
Hockley, J., & Stacpoole, M. (2014). The use of action research as a methodology in healthcare research. European Journal of Palliative Care, 21(3), 110-114. Web.
Kros, J. F., & Rosenthal, D. A. (2016). Statistics for health care management and administration: Working with Excel (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.