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Going to extremes: action research, grounded practice and the theory-practice gap in nursing

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Action research is growing in popularity with nurse researchers, where it is often seen as a way of bridging the theory-practice gap. However, there is little agreement on exactly what is meant by the term, and most nurse researchers stop short of exploring the full potential of this methodology. This paper argues that, if taken to its logical conclusion, action research methodology goes beyond the confines of the scientific paradigm and is able to bring about improvements in practice directly without the mediation of theory. This has some important implications for how the research process is viewed, and results in a model of research which is participative, reflexive and unashamedly subjective, and which generates non-generalizable, personal knowledge directly out of practice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Principal Lecturer, School of Health Studies, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England

Publication date: December 1, 1996

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