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This text is one of a series of books supported by “Trent Focus for the Promotion of Research and Development in Primary Health Care”. Its objectives are to provide the beginner in primary care research with an overview of appropriate methodology and an awareness of when and how to obtain specialist advice.
It is a delightful book to read as the text is laid out with clearly labelled, short, succinct, and highly relevant sections. It contains chapters on an introduction to research methodology, experimental designs, qualitative research, surveys and questionnaires, the use of interviews in a research project, and data collection by observation as well as a glossary and index. As there are five contributors, there is inevitably a degree of duplication. However, good cross referencing compensates.
Basic research terminology is defined and important information on topics such as sampling, calculation of sample size required, confidence intervals, and types of questionnaires is clearly set out in language which uses the minimum of jargon. Boxes and bullet points emphasise important facts and the text is interspersed with exercises which maintain reader's interest and give feedback on understanding. The chapters conclude with a summary, answers to the exercises and references, further reading, and sometimes suggestions for other resource information.
At £15.95, this book is certainly good value for money and should find a place on the bookshelves of aspiring primary care researchers.