Reviewer: Albert I Wertheimer, BS, MBA, PhD (Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: This is intended as an introduction to research methods and a primer for clinical pharmacists to undertake a research program, especially if they have no prior experience. It is supposed to provide a hand-holding function in going through the various tasks involved in conducting a research project.
Purpose: Providing a handbook to guide a first research endeavor is a laudable objective, and clearly there is a need for such a book. However, this book falls far short of the objective. There are only 38 pages of instruction, with nearly all sections providing far too little information and specifics.
Audience: The book is written for new graduates or for those in their first positions in hospital or long-term care pharmacy, as well as for residents, fellows, and upper level PharmD students conducting a research project. I do not see how this publication offers sufficient assistance, especially if the mentor has little or no research experience. The author is an associate clinical professor who has a PharmD degree and has completed a residency in primary care.
Features: The guts of the book comprise 38 pages, divided into seven chapters. The section on writing study results is a half page with discussion just over a half page. IRB approval is covered in a third of a page. Then there are seven appendixes written by fellows, professors, and students offering their personal thoughts on the research process. This is interesting material, but unhelpful for the stated goal of the book. On the other hand, the eight appendixes with 30 pages of specimen poster abstracts and other templates are valuable. Overall, there are so many omissions, such as any discussion of free statistical programs one may download, hypothesis generation and testing, power calculations, the urgent requirement to partner with a statistician from the very beginning, and, unfortunately, there is no mention of the common databases available from CMS, AHRQ, and other government agencies.
Assessment: I could not recommend this book. The For Dummies books on research are far superior, more complete, and cheaper. There are also dozens of generic books about research without any mention of pharmacy. These would be a better choice.