Annie Pettifer

Annie Pettifer

Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at Coventry University. Educator for Online MSc in Nursing, Research Methods module. On campus, module leader for modules in End of Life Care and Research Methods

Location Coventry, England


  • Many thanks for all your comments. You have identified some of the major advantages and disadvantages of the different paradigms and the importance of choosing the right one for your research design.

  • Menal has raised an important point here. Research questions but be answerable. The first question still has two related aspects to it... finding out what is happening and exploring the reasons for it. That is not wrong but it is complex, It is important to be sure you intend to address both aspects in the research.

  • Yes Musa I would agree. Research questions need to be clear and answerable, so it is important that they are focused and specific. easy to say but writing a good research question can be challenging!

  • Thanks for the feedback. I am pleased you have enjoyed the week Eugene.

  • Thanks Sean for this breakdown of the elements of constructionism.

    Just a question to get us thinking... How does constructionism view aspects of reality that are difficult to observe and measure such as 'happiness' for example? Would research in that area be possible using a constructionist approach?

  • it is fantastic to see you creating a bank of useful summaries. Research is full of complex terminology which can be daunting but you seem to be getting to grips with it really well.

  • Thanks Debbie and Julianne for these very helpful summaries that capture two very different approaches. You illustrate how different approaches shape our understanding of what constitutes knowledge. All approaches have their pros and cons. Embracing subjectivity can be uncomfortable but, on the other hand, can we ever truly illuminate subjectivity?

  • Thank you for raising these interesting points. I agree we need to think critically about research methodology and findings. You raise important issues about the nature or research and knowledge which will will think about more as the course continue.

    For the moment, I wonder.. is knowledge something that is fixed..,. always true... or can it change. If...

  • Welcome to everyone. My name is Annie Pettifer and I am one of the educators for the course. Thank you for the many introductions poster so far. I look forward to reading your posts and comments.

  • How interesting. Thank you for sharing it. What do you think about this decision - was it right?

  • Annie Pettifer made a comment

    It has been really interesting to read your posts. I hope you have enjoyed learning on this course and are intrigued to learn more about research!

  • The Milgram experiments involved purposefully deceiving the research participants to answer the research question. This raises lots of issues about the extent to which research participants should be fully aware of what they are involved in and the implications of it.

    How far do you think researchers should be expected to go to ensure participants are...

  • I hope so but what is considered as 'harm' might be different in different places. Say for example clinical measurements such as temperature, gathered for a clinical reason, are then used as secondary research data without consent from the original patients. if that 'harm' or a reasonable use of existing data?

  • Annie Pettifer made a comment

    Congratulations everyone!

  • Hi Annabel,

    Post stroke speech and language therapies is an interesting topic, but very broad. As you say, focus is needed to keep the data manageable. Try to identify the specific area within the topic which you want to research. This should help you narrow down an answerable aim or question.

  • Welcome to week 2 everyone.

  • Form the discussions here, it seems that most people identified assumptions in the research they considered but the authors had not made them explicit, ie the authors had not written that the research was based on a specific and identified paradigm. This is very common in research, possibly because many journals have a tight word count so the authors have to...

  • Lovely to see these comments about your learning. Undertaking research is not for everyone, but whatever your role in healthcare, understanding how research can aid good patient care is important.

  • Great. Often it is too wordy to include definitions in the question but making them explicit elsewhere is very important.

  • Great. Understanding you own views is very important. As the course goes on, think about the implications of taking the view that bias is inevitable, for research design.

  • Good to see these. You have some great ideas and it is good to see you considering research designs which might address the questions. Be careful to ensure your terms are clear. For example you might want to think about exactly what you mean by 'communicative needs'.

  • Yes getting research questions right can be hard work. It can take many iterations. But getting the question right is important, as it guides the whole research design.

  • So perhaps both perspectives have a place in research in nutrition and dietetics...depending on the particular topic.

  • Indeed, both have their pros and cons and both require detail to be good quality.

  • Thank you Megan for raising this important point about primary and secondary data (and sharing your archaeological knowledge!). You are quite right, healthcare research can also come from using secondary data sources like documents. Research can be about finding and sharing new insights from existing data. The important point is that research, in an...

  • Thank you Declan. Yes, many would agree that paradigms and philosophy are fundamental to research because research aims to generate knowledge about reality. What constitutes 'knowledge' and 'reality' area fundamentally epistemological and ontological questions. Some researchers pay more attention to paradigms that others but, in my view, being clear about...

  • Thank you for this.

    Bias is an important concept and researcher approach to it varies with their paradigm. Many would agree that bias is best avoided. But others argue that bias is something that is an inherent part of the 'real world' and therefore, rather than avoiding it, it is better to understand it and its impact.

  • Fantastic!

  • A really interesting example of how research has directly influenced practice. Thank you.

  • Thank you for finding and posting this interesting report on mental health in prisons. How has the report drawn on research? Has the research, influenced practice and if so, in what way? Perhaps the report itself will help the research to be used.

  • Thank you, you raise an interesting point here. When a group of people share the same professional background and work closely together over time, they tend to see the world in broadly the same way. I wonder if this helps or hinders the development of good quality evidence and practice. What do you think?

  • Perhaps it changes over time and in response to particular circumstances Adbikadir. That is very common.

  • Many researchers would agree with you. Others favour a particular approach. The important thing is to be very aware of how the lense through which a researcher sees the world has a huge impact on the way research is designed and undertaken.

  • Dear Carol. This is clear and succinct but reads more as a statement than a question which is answerable. Can you turn it into a question?

  • So Sara... what would your research question look like here?