The dual role of the action researcher
AuthorSandaunet, Anne-Grete; Trondsen, Marianne
This article aims to provide more insight into advantages and challenges of conducting action research with the intention to improve health care. Action research is distinctive in the sense that the researcher has a dual role as both researcher and implementer of the program studied. The article is based on two Norwegian action-oriented studies that aimed to explore the potential role of online self-help groups for breast cancer patients and adolescents with mentally ill parents respectively. We argue that action research can contribute both to the generation of knowledge, as well as a greater sense of ownership to the program among those who are intended to use it. Nonetheless, a potential conflict between the researcher's pursuit of data, and ethical considerations became apparent in the contexts studied here. Bearing these challenges in mind, we still conclude that action research offers an important contribution for the further development of health care services.
The article is a postprint version (final draft post refereeing). The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
CitationEvaluation and Program Planning, Volume 32, Issue 1, February 2009, Pages 13-20
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