Action research in health care is a relatively new research approach, which is adopted when one aim of the research is to bring about change in practice and to research the process of that change. This paper describes the way action research, as a research methodology, can be used to develop palliative care knowledge in generalist care settings, An overview of action research is presented and its relationship to more conventional research paradigms. Two action research projects, undertaken to develop knowledge about end-of-life care for older people in care homes, are used to illustrate the key principles of action research, methods of data collection and data analysis. Finally, the challenges of such, utilising an action research approach and its strengths, are discussed. © 2006 Sage Publications.
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