Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 4–6 | Cite as

Action Research: a valuable research technique for service delivery development

  • Nuttan K. TannaEmail author


The evaluation of healthcare practice and service delivery is fraught with difficulties. Service development and / or delivery occurs within socially dynamic settings which are in a continual state of change. Service development also often involves large elements of improvisation. The action research approach is useful for health service research, as it supports collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and not only allows but makes explicit that the action researcher has both roles within the setting being studied. This paper discusses action research methodology and offers insight into principles that favor its use for service delivery development. This includes consideration of the interactive variables within studies of health care systems and the importance of evaluating relationships between stakeholders to understand how these factors or variables, which cannot be controlled for, are responsible for successful development of the service. Action research facilitates change and helps bridge the heory--practice gap. With the current dynamic changes within both the pharmacy profession and national health services, researchers may find the action research technique of value when considering new roles and innovative ways of engaging in collaborative, multi-disciplinary working to improve delivery of patient care.


Action research Health care service Pharmaceutical care Research methods Specialist pharmacist 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Northwick Park Menopause Clinical & Research Unit & affiliated with Arthritis CentreThe N W London Hospitals NHS TrustHarrowUK

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