The role of research and the key elements of research methodologies

Research is an investigation of a topic for a purpose it is needed to find information which helps test and improve theories and data. There are certain things in the research process that are always done in order to get the most correct results. Research is carried to produce knowledge and understanding of a topic.


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Having discussed what is research I am going to go into the purpose of research the purpose of research is used to test whether a theory is good or not. One of the main purposes of research is to identify needs. The reason why research needs to be carried out by health and social care professionals because to meet the needs of individuals, so better and improved practice can be provided and can be given to service users and the issue can be solved. For example in today’s society obesity is a big problem is rising high which is leading to more and more disease, illness and deaths. Statistics show more people are dying in Britain due to being overweight or obese than anywhere else in around one in three children between the ages of 2 and 15 are overweight.


In order to find out what areas are high with obesity, research may use percentage of individuals to see how many people are affected by obesity and how health care professional may be needed or involved in decreasing the rates of obesity. Research will help bring theories forward on how to deal with issues that arising in the society. Welsh state “The findings of research investigations can also be used to influence and help policy makers and managers to make their decisions.” (Walsh 2000).

In this part I will write about another purpose of research which is to provide knowledge. In health and social care system professionals are always gaining and increasing new knowledge which helps in their new job so it important to update knowledge to provide best practice. Walsh (2000) states “the objective of all research, whether it is about health and social care or not, is to produce knowledge.” Health and social care professionals are always needed to provide further knowledge they can provide this knowledge by researching and their extending knowledge on the subject. For example Scientists are always finding out new treatment, cure and medicine for different disease so they overcome problems and treat service users so they can live longer. Research helps individuals in different types of health and social care jobs an up to date knowledge to be able to deal with issues.

I will know go into talk about highlight gaps in provision. Research may be carried out to see if there are any gaps in provision of healthcare. It may be a part of checking a procedure, to see whether everybody has received the care they are entitled to, or whether care has been given properly and the right standard. It may also identify where healthcare is not provided or if it’s not appropriate to the needs of the service user. While researching there maybe points that arise for example a questionnaire carried out by a career showing more elderly homes are needed and better care. The new points that arise may help in the future for the gaps in provision to be filled.

I will know write about how research can help plan for provision. Gaps in provision are filled by research being carried out first the gaps needs to be highlighted how I talked about above then there gaps are going to be filled by planning for provision. After highlighting the gaps in provision it is then important to think about how the gaps are going to be filled and what is going to be done.

For examples as I discussed above more elderly homes are needed this gap and better practice by the staff this gap will be filled by having more elderly homes made with better and improver practice.

However throughout this section I have talked about the purpose of research I will now go onto explaining the roles of research.


The main role of research is inform policies and practice. Policies and practice are implemented to stop anything from happening in the health and social care sector. However the past there have been incidents and now polices have been put into practice to stop it from happening from again. For example the baby p case, a young infant got abused and later murdered by his mothers partner nothing was done about it while he was alive getting abused even when he was taken to hospital the doctor never done a proper check on him but after his death led to so much incident and a policy to have a proper check when a child is in care and social workers to follow their guidelines and proper check should be carried out or there are consequences to face.

Another role of research is to improve practice, when the research is gathered; the information that is found can turn to useful information which can help improve practice (Wilkinson 2000). For example, patients used to be kept in bed for a long time after a minor operation. However research showed it was not a good thing to do so nursing practice has now changed to encourage moving around as soon as possible. This was based on the research that was carried out and the information gained showed a lot of complications were avoided by practices.

Aid reflection this role of research is when a specific area looked back on considering whether things have gone well or badly or whether or not it could have been improved. Research can help process by thoroughly reviewing the process of a healthcare practice. An example of this would be a survey taken by a professional in a school show not all children are achieving there minimum grade. The result they get from the survey will then lead them to assess the result gathered and carry out improvements to make changes for the better.

The role of research in monitoring progress is needed. Research would help monitor a progress, as when a new rule is put into place, researchers would monitor to check if it has resolved the problem or never made a difference

Another role of research is to examine topics of contemporary importance. By researching topics of contemporary would help people gain knowledge about a specific point that has been highlighted for example drinking alcohol a lot has become a big issue that has lead to research being carried out to show the consequences of drinking and its effects. There has been organisation to help stop drinking like NHS and frank to help people that are addicts.