International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleMethodological considerations and experiences in clinical application research design
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sAlbertine Ranheim and Maria Arman
ReferenceVolume 4, Issue 1, Article 4
Date of PublicationMay 2014
Keywordsapplication research, expanding caring awareness, hermeneutics, theory and practice

Background: Strengthening the relationship between research and clinical practice, and improving the use of research in healthcare are challenging areas that need creative solutions. Clinical application research is a design based on Gadamer’s idea that understanding always involves interpretation and application.

Aims and objectives: This study aims to assess from a methodological viewpoint a project in which two researchers cooperated with clinical healthcare workers over three years.

Methods: Interviews with the participating clinicians on a ward for rehabilitative cancer care. Inspired by Gadamerian epistemology, a interpretive analysis was performed on the transcripts of three focus group meetings.

Findings: Taking part in the project demonstrated to the participants the value of systematic and analytical scientific work in the acquisition of new knowledge and wider insights. Participants were inspired to investigate taking theoretical assumptions from caring science into practical clinical work. They described an expanded reflective awareness of caring work in terms of their observational abilities. Everyday challenges were clarified and deeper aspects of caring emerged; tacit knowledge became expressed and verbalised.

Conclusions: The participants developed a scientific approach to their clinical caregiving knowledge, as well as an increased awareness of their profession. If an organisation is interested in improving its results, and its patients’ experience of health and wellbeing, this study recommends that it devote time and resources to strengthening the relation between research and clinical practice. Clinical application research is a structure that can help achieve this.

Implications for practice:

  • Clinical application research creates the possibility to develop deeper awareness of procedures that are taken for granted
  • Clinical experts are given opportunities to develop a scientific approach to practical clinical care
  • Researchers in caring sciences are given a response to their theory from its application in practice

This article by Albertine Ranheim and Maria Arman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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