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Research for the Health Professional was designed to be a practical and informative guide for research and evidence-based practice for a variety of healthcare students and professionals. The text will guide you to:

  1. Differentiate research from evidence-based practice

  2. Discriminate between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies

  3. Access and critically evaluate literature related to your practice area

  4. Ignite your passion for your profession or chosen practice area to inspire participation in research and evidence-based practice activities

  5. Apply principles of research and evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful research studies or innovative evidence-based practice projects

  6. Share research and evidence-based practice findings through a variety of methods

  7. Engage in collaborative and self-directed learning activities to become researchers, evidence-based practitioners, and professional leaders

We have taken a straightforward, positive, and engaging approach to research and evidence-based practice that draws upon our combined 25 years of teaching experience, from the associate to doctoral levels. Understanding and engaging in research and evidence-based practice can be challenging, but with use of a structured process and a passion for the chosen topic, both can be extremely rewarding and enlightening. The philosophy of the text is to learn by “doing,” meaning that mastery of the content is facilitated via hands-on activities, engaging assignments and discussions, and collaboration with others.

Our intention was not to write a comprehensive research text, but rather to lead you through each phase of the research process in a simplified and systematic way. This text is appropriate for those just beginning in the research or evidence-based practice journey, but can also be an effective tool for more advanced students and practitioners or those needing a refresher course. With these goals in mind, each chapter contains several features.

First, Learning Outcomes define the chapter goals and let you know what you can expect to learn in each chapter. Second, Skill-Building Tips are included at the end of each chapter in bulleted format to summarize practical suggestions for understanding and applying chapter content. These tips have been accumulated through our experiences in conducting research and evidence-based practice and in teaching others to do the same. These tips should allow you to avoid some of the common pitfalls and to move through the research process with greater ease. Third, Learning Activities conclude each chapter and provide opportunities for critical thinking about the chapter content. These questions can serve as a foundation for each phase of the research process, by allowing you to consider chapter content from the perspective of your clinic, practice, or research situation. Finally, additional resources and templates are available within the chapters and in the online resources through DavisPlus to guide you through the research process. In addition, a variety of examples from multiple disciplines have been included throughout the chapters to demystify more complex concepts.

Reviewing the chapters in chronological order reflects the approach we have found to be most effective for research in traditional, online, and blended academic settings. For those more interested in evidence-based practice, we recommend reviewing sections in the following order: Section I, Section III, Section II, Section IV. In either case, we hope this text will guide you to design and conduct a successful study or project, and to pursue grant writing or to present and publish to share your work with others.

One final feature that we chose to include is the inspirational quotes and photos that open each chapter to set the tone for a positive and engaging learning experience. Research and evidence-based practice can be challenging and time-consuming, but we believe that it can also be inspiring and fun with proper life balance. Balancing competing activities and finding time to enjoy the simple leisures is fundamental to a healthy and fulfilling life, and we remind our students of this frequently. The chapter photos were taken throughout our writing journey for this book, as we tried to stay true to our own philosophy. We hope you enjoy the journey and embrace the joys of research and conducting evidence-based practice! The process will surely change you if you let it!

Angela N. Hissong
Jennifer E. Lape

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