SAGE Journals

Reinforce chapter themes with free access to two journal articles for each chapter and further online readings. Select chapters will also include suggested weblinks.

Journal Article 10.1: Crow, J., Smith, L. and Keenan, I. (2010) ‘Sustainability in an action research project: 5 years of a dignity and respect action group in a hospital setting’, Journal of Research in Nursing 15: 55–68.

Discussion Points: How is action research defined in this context? How sustainable has this project been? What benefits has the project bought?

Journal Article 10.2: Davies, J., Lester, C., O’Neill, M. and Williams, G. (2008) ‘Sustainable participation in regular exercise amongst older people: Developing an action research approach’, Health Education Journal 67: 45–55.

Discussion Points: What are the main features of action research in this paper? How sustainable has this project been – and with what benefit? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Journal Article 10.3: Bonfice, G., Humpage, S., Awatar, S. and Reagon, C. (2015) ‘Developing an occupation- and recovery-based outcome measure for people with mental health conditions: An action research study’, British Journal of Occupational Therapy 78(4): 222–231.

Description: An action research study was carried out to develop an outcome measure for a community outreach service known as HiWay. The service is run by Mind Monmouthshire, in Wales, with input from local occupational therapists. It aims to facilitate mental health recovery through engagement in community occupations. Seven cycles of reflection and action were undertaken by HiWay staff, occupational therapists, service users and university researchers. Data in the form of audio recordings and field notes of group meetings were analyzed between each cycle. Participants suggested that outcome measurement needs to be service user led in terms of the nature and size of outcomes and when and how often a measure is used. They argued that terminology around outcomes needs to be accessible and motivational. Participants also suggested that outcome measures have the potential to become central to resilience-building for people with mental health problems. Through action research, service users and staff from different agencies can be involved in service level change such as the design and implementation of an outcome measure.

Journal Article 10.4: Walsh, E., Forsyth, K., Senior, J., O’Hara, K. and Shaw, J. (2014) ‘Undertaking action research in prison: Developing the older prisoner health and social care assessment and plan’, Action Research 12(2): 136–50.

Description: Older prisoners are the fastest growing group in prisons. They have complex health and social care needs and the coordination of their care is suboptimal. An action learning group including health care staff, prison staff and older prisoners was established at one prison in England. The group developed the Older prisoner Health and Social Care Assessment and Plan (OHSCAP) which is a health and social care assessment and care planning process for the better identification and management of older prisoners’ needs. This paper describes and critically analyses the process of action learning in prison to develop and pilot the OHSCAP. Data were collected through reflective notes from the action learning group facilitator, reflective diary writing from group members, emails, research project steering group meeting notes and interviews with action learning group members. The constant comparison method of data analysis was used. We found that action learning is a valuable approach for developing practice in the challenging prison environment. There are important considerations when using action learning in the prison setting. These include maintaining the groups’ focus; clarifying roles and procedures; providing practical and theoretical space and considering the groups’ composition.