Chapter 1: Introduction to Research in Nursing and Midwifery

Quizzes give you the chance to test your knowledge through multiple choice questions, short answers, matching activities and other revision tools.

1. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary what is the origin of the word ‘research’?


‘Research’ is derived from 16th century French and has two components, “re, expressing intensive force” and “cerchier, to search” (Stevenson and Waite, 2011: 1222).

2. Give ten words or phrases that could be used to describe research.


Possible words and phrases include - study, rigorous, systematic, scientific, investigation, problem-solving, answering questions, orderly, testing, generating new knowledge, enquiry, reaffirming what is already known, finding answers, academic exercise, truth, examining, hard work, time-consuming, common-sense, scrutinizing, organised, valid, reliable, sound, robust, disciplined, methodical, search, hypothesis-testing, collection of information, analyzing

3. Give five reasons why nursing and midwifery research is needed.


  • To ensure the delivery of safe, effective, high quality care.
  • To provide a rationale and justification for decisions about care delivery.
  • To enable patients, clients and families to make informed decisions about their care.
  • To maximise patient and client outcomes.
  • To facilitate patient and client satisfaction.
  • To support the development, evaluation and ongoing improvement of care.
  • To meet clinical governance requirements.
  • To ensure the delivery of cost-effective care.
  • To ensure that the ethical, moral and professional responsibilities of nurses and midwives are addressed. 
  • To reduce the risk of litigation for individual practitioners and the wider service: What you don’t know, can hurt you!

4. List the four essential components of evidence-based practice.


  • Best research evidence
  • The values and preferences of the patient or client about their care
  • The knowledge and expertise of the practitioner
  • The resources available

5. Why do nurses and midwives need to be ‘research aware’?


To inform their care nurses and midwives must be able to access and understand research, discriminate between sound and flawed research and identify the best research evidence available.

6. Identify five factors that have influenced the development of nursing and midwifery research over the last 50 years.


  • Government directives and initiatives
  • Development of clinical roles
  • Changes in nursing and midwifery pre and learning- beyond-registration education
  • Changes in the organisation and structure of the NHS
  • Nursing and midwifery’s move away from medical model dominance
  • Pioneering nursing and midwifery researchers
  • The work of Social Scientists whose work explored issues impinging upon nursing and midwifery practice
  • Increased opportunities for clinical nurses and midwives to become involved in research
  • Increasing numbers of research-related resources