Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery

Pathways to Evidence-Based Practice

Second Edition

Sansnee Jirojwong, Maree Johnson, Anthony Welch

Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery

Pathways to Evidence-Based Practice

Second Edition

Sansnee Jirojwong, Maree Johnson, Anthony Welch






10 Oct 2014




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Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery is a clear introduction to the principles used in research and systematic reviews for evidence-based practice. Beginning with the foundations of the research process, each chapter builds upon knowledge to cover specific research methods, population, sampling, data collection and analysis. 

This user-friendly text is rich with learning support for nursing and midwifery students, including easy-to-read flowcharts, practical examples and tips, practice exercises and additional resources to expand their knowledge of the research process and methodology and their application to evidence-based practice. The second edition has been substantially restructured and refocused to provide students with new chapters and pedagogy to provide nursing and midwifery students with a clear and accessible guide to all aspects of the research process and the skills to confidently apply research to their professional practice.


  • New chapters:
    • 2. Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses and Midwives
    • 5. Sampling in Qualitative Research
    • 9. Sampling in Quantitative Research
  • Refocused chapters on Qualitative Research Design, Quantitative Research Design and Quantitative Data Analysis have been substantially rewritten to be more student-friendly
  • Restructured table of contents for improved clarity and logical flow



Chapter 1. The Importance of Research in Nursing and Midwifery

Sansnee Jirojwong and Anthony Welch
The place of research in generating knowledge
The importance of evidence-based nursing and midwifery practices
The purposes of research
Inductive and deductive reasoning in research
Paradigms for nursing and midwifery research
The role of theory in nursing and midwifery research
What is the purpose of theory for research and evidence-based practice?
The future use of nursing and midwifery theories and frameworks in research
Developments in Australian nursing and midwifery research
Looking ahead: Research and its application in nursing and midwifery care

Chapter 2. Evidence-based Practice for Nurses and Midwives
Maree Johnson and Ritin Fernandez 
Skills required for evidence-based practice
Why evidence-based practice?
Do nurses participate in evidence-based practice?
Working together works well in EBP
Where do you find the evidence?
Barriers to EBP
Developing an evidence-based profession

Chapter 3. Introducing the Research Process
Maree Johnson and Cecily Hengstberger-Sims 
Planning the Research
Step 1: Select the topic and the research question
Step 2: Review and synthesise the literature
Step 3: Identify a frame of reference and/or define the terms
Step 4: Develop aims, objectives, research questions and hypotheses
Step 5: Choose appropriate methods to address the research questions or hypotheses
Step 6: Defining the significance and outcomes of the research
Step 7: Consider the feasibility and ethical issues
Step 8: Finalise the research proposal plan
Appendix 3.1 Example of a Quantitative Research Proposal
Appendix 3.2 Example of a Qualitative Research Proposal

Chapter 4. Ethical and Legal Considerations in Research
Keri Chater
History of ethics committees
Roles of research councils and the conduct of health research
Ethical principles and research conduct
Data management throughout the research study and beyond
Vulnerable groups and power relationships between researcher and participant
Appendix 4.1: Example of a Plain Language Statement and Consent Form

Chapter 5. Sampling in Qualitative Research
Anthony Welch
What is sampling?
Sampling methods in qualitative research
Bias in sampling

Chapter 6. Qualitative Research Design
Anthony Welch
What is qualitative research?
The types of qualitative research

Chapter 7. Data Collection: Qualitative Research
Anthony Welch and Sansnee Jirojwong
Preparing for the process of data collection
Choosing a mode(s) for data collection
Triangulation in data collection
Rigour and trustworthiness

Chapter 8. Qualitative Data Analysis
Lisa Whitehead
The stages of qualitative analysis
Theories and methods
Analysing visual data
Building trustworthiness in qualitative data analysis
Computer software packages for qualitative analysis
Data searching and retrieval
Developing and testing theory
Appendix 8.1 Example of data analysis

Chapter 9. Sampling in Quantitative Research
Maree Johnson and Sungwon Chang
Populations and samples
Probability sampling and non-probability sampling
Different sampling approaches in quantitative studies
Bias in sampling
Sample size
Appendix 9.1: A Random Numbers Table

Chapter 10. Quantitative Research Design
Sansnee Jirojwong and Karen Pepper 
What is quantitative research design?
Quantitative research and causality
Choosing a quantitative research design
Types of quantitative research designs
Appendix 10.1 CONSORT 2010 checklist of information to include when reporting a randomised trial

Chapter 11. Data Collection: Quantitative Research
Jan Taylor and Jamie Ranse
Data collection methods
Choosing an existing instrument or scale

Chapter 12. Quantitative Data Analysis
Petra Buettner, Reinhold Muller and Monika Buhrer-Skinner
Why statistics?
Descriptive versus comparative statistics
Descriptive statistics
Inferential statistics
Use of computer programs for data analysis
Appendix 12.1: Read and understand statistics in a published article
Appendix 12.2: Analyse a small data set using GraphPad’s QuickCalcs online

Chapter 13. Mixed Methods Research
Janice Lewis
Why conduct mixed methods research?
Differences between quantitative and qualitative research methods
Views of mixed methods research
Incompatibility thesis
Pragmatism and mixed methods
Status of quantitative and qualitative elements
Mixed methods as a continuum
Mixed methods design
Sampling techniques for mixed methods studies
Analysis of mixed methods data
Issues of validity in mixed methods research
The future of mixed methods research

Chapter 14. Critical Review of Research
Jane Warland and Phil Maude
Selection and effective reading of the literature
Critical appraisal and consideration of the level of available evidence
Becoming familiar with the process of critical review
Read reviewers’ comments from open-access published journals
Read critical reviews posted on the internet
Critique methods

Chapter 15. Undertaking a Systematic Review
Ritin Fernandez, Maree Johnson and Rhonda Griffiths
The process of a systematic review
Planning the review
Developing the protocol
Conducting the systematic review
Data analysis
Meta-analysis: The synthesis of quantitative data
Meta-synthesis: The synthesis of qualitative data
New approaches: Overview of Reviews (umbrella reviews)
Where to publish the completed systematic review
Appendix 15.1: JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Experimental Studies
Appendix 15.2: Data Extraction Form (Quantitative Data)

Chapter 16. Disseminating Research
Penny Paliadelis, Glenda Parmenter and Jackie Lea
Avenues for research dissemination and how to target the right one
Conference papers and posters
Preparing manuscripts for scholarly journals
Books and book chapters
Policies, guidelines and reports
Media releases
Barriers to publishing and strategies for overcoming them
Strategies for overcoming cultural barriers
Strategies for overcoming knowledge barriers
Strategies for addressing a lack of time and resources
Strategies for overcoming personal barriers
Appendix 16.1: Key elements/guidelines for developing an effective conference poster to disseminate research



Sansee Jirojwong - formerly of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney and is now based in her native Thailand
Maree Johnson - Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University
Anthony Welch - Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Central Queensland University


Petra Gertraud Buettner
Monika Buhrer-Skinner
Sungwon Chang
Keri Chater
Ritin Fernandez
Rhonda Griffiths
Cecily Hengstberger-Sims
Jackie Lea
Janice Lewis
Phillip Maude
Reinhold Muller
Penny Paliadelis
Glenda Parmenter
Karen Pepper
Jamie Ranse
Jan Taylor
Jane Warland
Lisa Whitehead

Student Resources

The following resources are available for students using Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery, Second Edition:

Lecturer Resources

The following resources are available for lecturers who prescribe Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery for their course:

  • Instructor’s Resource Manual containing icebreakers, tutorial activities and sample essay topics
  • Testbank of multiple-choice and short-answer questions for each chapter

For more information about the resources for Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery, please contact your Oxford Territory Manager.

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