Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences


  • Stephen Polgar, BSc(Hons), MSc, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Shane Thomas, DipPubPol, PhD, MAPS, Professor and Director of Primary Care Research, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

This popular textbook provides a concise, but comprehensive, overview of health research as an integrated, problem-solving process. It bridges the gap between health research methods and evidence-based clinical practice, making it an essential tool for students embarking on research. Practitioners also benefit from guidance on interpreting the ever-expanding published research in clinical and scientific journals, to ensure their practice is up to date and evidence-based and to help patients understand information obtained online.
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Undergraduate students in a wide range of Health Professions areas, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, biomedical scientists.

Postgrad students doing  Masters or PhD.



Book information

  • Published: September 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-7020-4194-5

Table of Contents

Polgar & Thomas: Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences 6E



Section 1: The scientific method.

1 - Methods and health research

Section 2: Research planning.

2 - Research planning.

3 - Sampling methods and external validity.

Section 3: Research designs.

4 - Experimental designs and intervention studies.

5 - Surveys and quasi-experimental designs.

6 - Single case (n=1) designs.

7- Qualitative research. Discussion, questions and answers.

Section 4: Data collection.

8 - Questionnaire design.

9 - Interview techniques and the analysis of interview data.

10 - Observation.

11 - Measurement. Discussion, questions and answers.

Section 5: Descriptive statistics.

12 - Organisation and presentation of data.

13 - Measures of central tendency and variability.

14 - Standard scores and normal curve.

15 - Correlation. Discussion, questions and answers.

Section 6: Inferential statistics.

16 - Probability and sampling distributions.

17 - Selection and use of statistical tests.

18 - The interpretation of research evidence. Discussion, questions and answers.

Section 7: Dissemination and critical evaluation of research.

19 - Qualitative data analysis.

20 - Presentation of health science research.

21 - Critical evaluation of published research.

22 - Syntheses of research evidence.

23 - Transitional research

24 - Safe and effective intervention criteria


References and further reading.

Answers to questions.