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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary Kielhofner, DrPh, OTR (Univ of Illinois at Chicago Coll of Associated Health Professions)
Description: In this book on research methods, the authors review different research approaches and methods and their application to the fields of allied health and special education.
Purpose: The purpose is to describe the background, logic, and methods of research in two related fields. A secondary purpose is to demonstrate the relationship between research and practice.
Audience: The book appears to be written for allied health and special education students at the graduate level.
Features: The book includes a historical overview of the development of the scientific method in healthcare. It is mainly illustrated and supported by examples of most of the concepts and techniques. It includes discussions of all aspects of research, including such things as research ethics, literature searches, and the format of the research paper.
Assessment: This book merits an average rating. On the plus side, the book does touch upon all major topics, and most of these are clearly defined. There are ample illustrations and examples that make the text more comprehensible. A wide range of resources is provided. The weaknesses of the book are that many concepts and issues are treated in the most superficial manner. Also, the authors present some research approaches in ways that not all researchers would agree with. For example, qualitative research is presented as a model of application of scientific method in biomedicine, whereas much qualitative literature views this approach as an alternative to the assumptions and approaches of a biomedical-based scientific method. Sometimes the text does not flow because the authors use more of an outline approach rather than a narrative approach to presenting concepts. The book is probably a stronger text for undergraduate rather than graduate students.