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Exploring Primary Research Methods in Health and Social Care

Explaining difference between primary and secondary research and evaluating key research methods of health and social care

The difference between primary and secondary research are as follows:

The difference between primary and secondary research

The primary research methods present for health and social care research are as follows:

Survey: The survey in primary research is a quantitative method which is executed to assess and record the features and aspects regarding a certain topic through collection of numeric data. In health and social care study, the researchers mainly execute online survey as it helps to avoid the limitation of geographical barriers due to which adequate participants are often hindered to be recruited in proper number to perform the process. The online survey is done by sending close-ended questionnaires to the participants through email and social media to gather their response regarding the study topic (Lukewich et al. 2018).

Interview: The interview is a qualitative process of primary research in which a structured conversation is farmed between the participants and the researchers for asking questions regarding the topic so that adequate data can be gathered for exploring the study. The interview in health and social care is done face-to-face and in the process apart from gathering data the feelings, expression and body language of the participants are also analysed to gain in-depth insight in the perception and opinions of the respondent (Jansson et al. 2019).


Focus Group: The focus group is quantitative data collection method of primary research in which information is gathered from restricted that is 6-10 group of individuals those have expert opinions regarding the topic (van Dongen et al. 2016).

Observation: The observation involves no direct interaction but data is collected through watching the reactions and movement of subject who are targeted for the research topic (Kaitelidou et al. 2019).

The secondary research methods used in health and social care research are as follows:

Journals and Articles: The previous information presented by the researchers regarding the topic to be explored in journals and articles are collected to analyse and evaluate them to resolve the raised questions in the current study. The journals and articles are collected from public libraries and through electronic search related to the research topic (Westermann et al. 2018).

Government data: The data presented in the government reports that are gathered the governmental, as well as non-governmental agencies recruited by the government, are analysed and summarised to gather information regarding the study topic (Westermann et al. 2018).

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Blackburn, S., McLachlan, S., Jowett, S., Kinghorn, P., Gill, P., Higginbottom, A., Rhodes, C., Stevenson, F. and Jinks, C., 2018. The extent, quality and impact of patient and public involvement in primary care research: a mixed methods study. Research involvement and engagement, 4(1), p.16.

Blythe, S., Gonzales, L. and Gonzalez, L., 2016. Coordination and transfer across the metagenre of secondary research. College Composition and Communication, pp.607-633.

Jansson, M.M., Harjumaa, M., Puhto, A.P. and Pikkarainen, M., 2019. Healthcare professionals’ proposed eHealth needs in elective primary fast‐track hip and knee arthroplasty journey: A qualitative interview study. Journal of clinical nursing, 28(23-24), pp.4434-4446.

Johnston, M.P., 2017. Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), pp.619-626.

Kaitelidou, D., Economou, C., Galanis, P., Konstantakopoulou, O., Siskou, O., Domente, S., De Boer, D., Boerma, W.G. and Groenewegen, P.P., 2019. Development and validation of measurement tools for user experience evaluation surveys in the public primary healthcare facilities in Greece: a mixed methods study. BMC family practice, 20(1), p.49.

Lukewich, J., Edge, D.S., VanDenKerkhof, E., Williamson, T. and Tranmer, J., 2018. Team composition and chronic disease management within primary healthcare practices in eastern Ontario: an application of the Measuring Organizational Attributes of Primary Health Care Survey. Primary health care research & development, 19(6), pp.622-628.

Prada-Ramallal, G., Roque, F., Herdeiro, M.T., Takkouche, B. and Figueiras, A., 2018. Primary versus secondary source of data in observational studies and heterogeneity in meta-analyses of drug effects: a survey of major medical journals. BMC medical research methodology, 18(1), p.97.

van Dongen, J.J.J., Lenzen, S.A., van Bokhoven, M.A., Daniëls, R., van der Weijden, T. and Beurskens, A., 2016. Interprofessional collaboration regarding patients’ care plans in primary care: a focus group study into influential factors. BMC family practice, 17(1), p.58.

Westermann, C., Wendeler, D. and Nienhaus, A., 2018. Hepatitis C in healthcare personnel: secondary data analysis of therapies with direct-acting antiviral agents. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 13(1), p.16.

Williams, L.C. and Reddish, M.J., 2018. Integrating Primary Research into the Teaching Lab: Benefits and Impacts of a One-Semester CURE for Physical Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(6), pp.928-938.

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