Action research: changing nursing practice

Desley Gail Hegney, Karen Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes action research as a methodology and gives two examples of its application to nursing and health services research. Action research is cyclical in nature and involves the development, evaluation and redefining of an action plan using four basic steps: planning, action, observation and reflection. These cycles of action continue until the research group is satisfied that its objectives have been met. Data generation and analysis are iterative processes that occur continuously throughout the project, which is usually time-limited. Factors that should be taken into account to ensure success include: engaging the community, consideration of 'insider' versus 'outsider' perspectives, competing agendas, expectations not being met and the integrity of the research methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalNursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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