When Research Goes Off the Rails Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2009-10-08
Publisher(s): The Guilford Press
List Price: $58.67

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Few behavioral or health science studies proceed seamlessly. This refreshingly candid guide presents firsthand vignettes of obstacles on the bumpy road of research and offers feasible, easy-to-implement solutions. Contributors from a range of disciplines describe real-world problems at each stage of a quantitative or qualitative research project—from gaining review board approval to collecting and analyzing data—and discuss how these problems were resolved. A detailed summary chart helps readers quickly find material on specific issues, methods, and settings. Written with clarity and wit, the vignettes provide exemplars of critical thinking that researchers can apply when developing the operational plan of a study or when facing practical difficulties in a particular research phase.

Winner--American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award!

Author Biography

David L. Streiner is Senior Scientist at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.


Souraya Sidani is Canada Research Chair, Tier One, in Health Interventions Design and Evaluation at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Table of Contents

A Guide to the Contents of Each Chapterp. xjj
Going Off the Rails: An Introductionp. 1
Ethics Approvalp. 17
When Mountains Move Too Slowlyp. 21
The Ethics of Sex Research on the Internetp. 27
When Safeguards Become Straitjackets: How Ethics Research Board Requirements Might Contribute to Ethical Dilemmas in Studies with Marginalized Populations
Going Off the Rails for "Love or Money": implementation Issues Related to Payment of Research Participants in an Addiction-Research Projectp. 43
Accessin the Participantsp. 53
Frailty, Thy Name Is Machop. 57
Power in Numbers: Research with Families in Long-Term Carep. 65
Getting the Wrong Gatekeeperp. 74
Breaking into Courtp. 81
The RDC Archipelagop. 88
Recruitment and Retentionp. 97
Small Colleges and Small n'sp. 101
Mitigating the Impact of External Forcesp. 106
A Trip to the School of Hard Knocks: Recruiting Participants from Health Service Agencies for Qualitative Studies of Agingp. 113
All Aboard!: Using Community Leaders to Keep Clinical Researchers on Trackp. 119
Changing Horses in Midstream: Transforming a Study to Address Recruitment Problemsp. 130
When Cost Meets Efficiency: Rethinking Ways to Sample a Rare Populationp. 136
The Story Is in the Numbersp. 147
Strategies for Retaining Participants in Longitudinal Research with Economically Disadvantaged and Ethnically Diverse Samplesp. 152
Culturally Specific Strategies for Retention and Adherence to Physical Activity Interventions in Hispanic Womenp. 161
Study Implementationp. 169
When a Beautiful Intervention Meets Ugly Reality: Implementing an Intervention in the Real Worldp. 171
When Saving Blood Goes Wrongp. 177
PDA = Pretty Darned Awful: The Trials and Tribulations of Running Trials of PDAsp. 183
When Sugar Is Not So Sweet: Camera Shyness and Intentional Cointervention Almost Derail a Studyp. 191
Placebo Problems: Power and Persecution, or Paranoia?p. 199
Data Collectionp. 207
Revisiting Traditional Survey Methodology to Recruit and Survey Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Older Adultsp. 211
Technology: Help or Hindrance?p. 219
Hoist on Our Own Postcardp. 223
On the Finer Points of Handling Googlies: Reflections on Hits, Near Misses, and Fuil-Blown Swings at the Air in Large, Population-Based Studies Involving School, Parents, and Childrenp. 228
Pets, Pies, and Videotape: Conducting In-Home Observational Research with Late-Life Intergenerational Familiesp. 239
Underfunded but Not Undonep. 248
Community-Based Participatory Research: A Lesson in Humilityp. 254
Where Did All the Bodies Go?p. 263
Measures for Improving Measuresp. 268
Data Analysisp. 281
Drowsing Over Data: When Less Is Morep. 283
Bigger Is Not Always Better: Adventures in the World of Survey Data Analysisp. 290
Taking Aim at a Moving Target: When a Study Changes in the Middlep. 299
Lack of Normative Data as an Obstacle to Neuropsychological Assessmentp. 304
These Data Do Not Computep. 309
Avoiding Data Disasters and Other Pitfallsp. 320
When Interpretation Goes Awry: The impact of Interim Testingp. 327
Collaborationp. 335
What Happened to Cooperation and Collaboration?p. 337
Presto! It's Gone: When a Study Ceases to Exist Right before Your Eyesp. 344
Building Stakeholder Capacity to Enhance Effectiveness in Participatory Program Evaluationp. 352
Final Thoughtsp. 359
Sometimes It Is the Researcher, Not the Research That Goes "Off the Rails": The Value of Clear, Complete, and Precise Information in Scientific Reportsp. 361
Final Thoughts: A Healthy Dose of Realismp. 369
Indexp. 379
About the Editorsp. 389
Contributorsp. 391
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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