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Getting Started in Health Research

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9148-7
192 pages
July 2011, BMJ Books
Getting Started in Health Research (1405191481) cover image
By the time you've read this book, you'll be ready to design your own research project

Not everyone in clinical research is a scientific investigator. In fact, a large proportion of health professionals undertaking a research project are working in clinical care, as junior doctors, nurses or allied health professionals. For them a book that begins with the basics of study design and takes them through all the stages to data collection, analysis, and submission for publication is vital. Getting Started in Health Research is the answer. It provides fundamental information on:

  • Framing the research question
  • Performing the literature search
  • Choosing the study design
  • Collecting data
  • Getting funding
  • Recruiting participants
  • Writing your paper

Lively case studies provide a continuous narrative, addressing the pitfalls and problems that can occur.

Calling upon their vast experience of teaching health research methodology, these authors have turned a seemingly daunting task into a challenging and enjoyable prospect.

The companion of Understanding Clinical Papers

Reviews of Understanding Clinical Papers

" excellent basis for all who intend to write scientific texts as well as those reading, evaluating, and trying to understand the results..."
Clinical Chemistry, May 2007

"What makes this book unique is that each point presented is illustrated with excerpts from actual papers, often three or four per chapter...this is a very effective teaching device."
Journal of the American Medical Association, December 26, 2006

"What strikes the reader ... straight away is clarity ... promises to become a recommended text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses."
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, September 2006

"This book should be an essential addition to the personal libraries of all health care workers . . . "
Oncology, 2002

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1 Turning Your General Aim Into a Specific Question.

2 Taking a Preliminary Look at What Has Already Been Done.


3 Coming Up With an Initial Plan of Action.

4 Carrying Out a Systematic Search.

5 Building a Team.


6 Choosing the Best Study Design.

7 Selecting Samples for Quantitative Research.

8 Selecting Samples for Qualitative Research.


9 Deciding What Information to Collect.

10 Tackling Confounders.

11 How Many People to Study?

12 Getting Ready for a Qualitative Analysis.

13 Getting Ready for a Quantitative Analysis.

14 Writing Your Final Protocol.

15 Arranging Funding.

16 Getting Permission to Go Ahead.


17 Recruiting the Participants.

18 Collecting and Recording the Data.

19 Living With (and Without) the Data.


20 Taking Stock.

21 Making Sense of Your Results – the Quantitative Case.

22 Making Sense of Your Results – the Qualitative Case.


23 Writing a Research Paper.

24 Setting Out Your Findings.

25 Writing Your Discussion.

26 Writing a Thesis or Other Report.

27 Dealing With Journals.

Further Reading.


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David Bowers, Medical Statistician, University of Leeds Medical School
Allan House, Professor of Liaison Psychiatry, Leeds Institute of Health Science, University of Leeds
David Owens, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, Leeds Institute of Health Science, University of Leeds
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"The purpose is to provide basic information for conducting a research project. This is a worthwhile objective, since many healthcare professionals who may not have a background in research have questions that need answers ... This will be a good guide as a starting point for conducting research." (Doody's, 20 January 2012)

"This is a well-intentioned introduction to health research." (British Journal of Cardiology, 2011)

"This book will appeal to students in all branches of the health profession and is warmly recommended." (Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 2011)


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