Action research in healthcare


Mary Casey*

The utility and versatility of action research has brought about an increase in the level of interest, application and usage of action research in a variety of healthcare contexts in the past 20 years as healthcare systems continue to undergo transformative change and manage the impact of COVID19. Traditional research approaches are somewhat limited in their application to change as they tend to produce abstract thinking and the practical application of the findings can be a secondary concern. In this regard, action research is a growing area of popularity and interest, essentially because of its dual focus on theory and action. This greater interest and usage largely relates to the fact that in the context of change, action research aims at both taking action in a particular system in response to particular forces, such as COVID19 for example, and therefore brings a change. It simultaneously creates knowledge or theory about that action or change that provides actionable knowledge for other health care contexts.

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