Systematic review of the uptake and design of action research in published nursing research, 2000-2005

Munn-Giddings, Carol and McVicar, Andrew J. and Smith, Lesley (2008) Systematic review of the uptake and design of action research in published nursing research, 2000-2005. Journal of Research in Nursing, 13 (6). pp. 465-477. ISSN 1744-988X

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (83kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Action research (AR) is promoted for health care development. A systematic review was undertaken to gain insight into the uptake and designs of practice-based AR. Empirical research papers from 2000 to 2005 were extracted from CINAHL, MEDLINE and British Nursing Index, and two specialist AR journals. The initial search identified 335 papers: 38% were AR (20% were phenomenology; 32% ethnography; 10% randomised-controlled trials). Further filtering produced 62 AR papers for detailed analysis. Eighty-seven per cent of AR studies involved ‘organisational/professional development’, or ‘educational’ settings; only 13% were directly ‘clinical’. Practitioners were the main participants in 90% of studies. Seventy-two per cent of all participant groups were rated ‘active’ in the research process, yet 70% of first (lead) authors were from an academic institution. Patients/carers were generally passive in the research process and absent from the authorship. Ninety per cent of studies used two or more methods, predominantly qualitative. Forty-four per cent of articles identified external funding sources, relatively high for nursing research. Participatory AR has a strong identity in practice-based research, with a diversity of methods. The focus reflects that of nursing research generally. A high level of participation by practitioners is evident but with little equity in authorship. Service user/carer involvement should be given more prominence by researchers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: action research, methodology, nursing research, participation, research design
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 10:06
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:03

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item