Web activities

These activities include brainstorming activities, further reading, weblinks to external sites, and enable you to examine and relect upon the methods of both real-world studies and the methods chosen by fictional nursing and midwifery students introduced in chapter one.

Activity 9.1: Using Appropriate Survey Methods

Read either of both of the following papers:

Bick, D. Sandall, J. Furuta, M. Wee, M.Y.K. Isaacs, R. Smith, G.B. and Beake, S. on behalf of the Modified Obstetric Early Warning Systems (Mobs) Research Group. (2014) A national cross sectional survey of heads of midwifery services of uptake, benefits and barriers to use of the obstetric early warning systems (EWS) by midwives. Midwifery 30(11): 1140–1146.

Land, L. and Meredith, N. (2013) An evaluation of the reasons why patients attend a hospital emergency department. Internal Emergency Nursing 21(1): 35–41.

Consider the appropriateness of using the survey method. 

Activity 9.2: Defining Action Research

Action research is sometimes referred to as emancipatory, participatory or collaborative research. Give a rationale for the use of each of these names (including action research). Which name do you think best describes the fundamental principles of this research method? 

Activity 9.3: Using Appropriate Action Research Methods

Read either of both of the following papers which involve the use of action research:

Johannessen, B. (2013) Nurses experience of aromatherapy use with dementia patients experiencing disturbed sleep patterns. An action research project,Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 19(4): 209–213.

Rawnson, S. Brown, S. Wilkins, C. and Leamon, J. (2009) Student midwives’ views of caseloading: the BUMP study, British Journal of Midwifery 17(8): 484–489.

Consider the appropriateness of using action research.

Activity 9.4: Primary and Secondary Data Sources 

Compare your list of primary and secondary data sources with ours:

Diaries; written, audio and video



Minutes of meetings




Financial accounts



Case studies


Parish records


Registers of births, marriages and 

Family trees



Narrative accounts


Government reports

Artefacts and objects


Oral accounts 

Journals and magazines; General literature such as the 
professional and popular  works of Dickens, Trollope or Brontë



The National Archives (Kew) or 


The National Archives of Scotland (Edinburgh)


The Wellcome Library

Films, television and radio programmes 

Ballads and songs

Family archives 


Archives of organisations

Court reports

Libraries and museums


Interviews and focus groups with

Family bibles

relevant informants 


Clinical databases

Patient notes and hospital records

Archaeological specimens

Conference reports and presentations  


Is there anything you would add to our list?

As you will have no doubt concluded, the list of possible data sources is extensive.

Activity 9.5: Describing Historical Research Findings 

Read either of both of the following papers:

Schminkey, D.L. and Keeling, A.W. (2015) Frontier nurse-midwives and antepartum emergencies, 1925 to 1939. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 60(1): 48–55.

Staring-Derks, C. Staring, J. and Anionwu, E.N. (2014) Mary Seacole: Global nurse extraordinaire. Journal of Advanced Nursing 71(3): 514–525.

What do the authors tell you about the way in which the data were gathered?

What do the findings tell you that is of relevance to today’s practice?

Activity 9.6: Historical Data Resources

Activity 9.7: Developing Survey, Action, and Historical Research Questions

Jasmine and Charles from the class of 2016 have been asked to plan a study using the survey method, action research and historical research.

Jasmine has to identify an aspect of midwifery care that could be investigated using a survey and she selects parent-craft classes for first-time parents. Develop a research question for Jasmine’s study; identify a possible sample; select a method of data collection; and identify the key issues that the survey should address.

Charles has to identify an aspect of nursing practice that could be investigated using action research and he selects adolescent care in a child and adolescent mental health care setting. Develop a research question for Charles’s study; identify how Charles could assess the nature and extent of the problem; list the possible interventions/changes that could be implemented and how these might be evaluated.

Jasmine and Charles have been asked to identify an aspect of nursing and midwifery that could be investigated using historical research. They decide to focus on training in their local hospital 1920–1930. Develop a research question for their study and list the possible data sources.