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 2.1: Aldred, R. (2008) ‘Ethical and political issues in contemporary research relationships’, Sociology 42: 887–903.

Discussion Points: How do ethical guidelines underline research practice? According to the authors what are the key issues researchers must consider when undertaking research?

Journal Article 2.2: Hughner, R. S. and Kleine, S. S. (2004) ‘Views of health in the lay sector: A compilation and review of how individuals think about health’, Health 8(4): 395–422.

Discussion Points: According to the authors, what are the key ways in which lay people think about health? How does this resonate with your views on health and illness?

Journal Article 2.3: Mayo, N. E., Kaur, N., Barbic, S. P., et al. (2016) ‘How have research questions and methods used in clinical trials published in Clinical Rehabilitation changed over the last 30 years?’, Clinical Rehabilitation 30(9): 847–64.

Description: Research in rehabilitation has grown from a rare phenomenon to a mature science and clinical trials are now common. The purpose of this study is to estimate the extent to which questions posed and methods applied in clinical trials published in Clinical Rehabilitation have evolved over three decades with respect to accepted standards of scientific rigour. Studies were identified by journal, database, and hand searching for the years 1986 to 2016. A total of 390 articles whose titles suggested a clinical trial of an intervention, with or without randomization to form groups, were reviewed. Questions often still focused on methods to be used (57%) rather than what knowledge was to be gained. Less than half (43%) of the studies delineated between primary and secondary outcomes; multiple outcomes were common; and sample sizes were relatively small (mean 83, range 5–3312). Blinding of assessors was common (72%); blinding of study subjects was rare (19%). In less than one-third of studies was intention-to-treat analysis done correctly; power was reported in 43%. There is evidence of publication bias as 83% of studies reported either a between-group or a within-group effect. Over time, there was an increase in the use of parameter estimation rather than hypothesis testing and there was evidence that methodological rigour improved. Rehabilitation trialists are answering important questions about their interventions. Outcomes need to be more patient-centred and a measurement framework needs to be explicit. More advanced statistical methods are needed as interventions are complex. Suggestions for moving forward over the next decades are given.

Journal Article 2.4: Shneerson, C. L. and Gale, N. K. (2015) ‘Using mixed methods to identify and answer clinically relevant research questions’, Qualitative Health Research 25(6): 845–56.

Description: The need for mixed methods research in answering health care questions is becoming recognized because of the complexity of factors that affect health outcomes. It is argued that a qualitatively driven mixed method approach has value for identifying and answering clinically relevant research questions. This argument is illustrated by findings from a study on the self-management practices of cancer survivors and the exploration of one particular clinically relevant finding about higher uptake of self-management in cancer survivors who had received chemotherapy treatment compared with those who have not. A cross-sectional study generated findings that formed the basis for the qualitative study, by informing the purposive sampling strategy and generating new qualitative research questions. Using a quantitative research component to supplement a qualitative study can enhance the generalizability and clinical relevance of the findings and produce detailed, contextualized, and rich answers to research questions that would be unachievable through quantitative or qualitative methods alone.