The synthesis: An innovative approach to student research
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Background: Although there is an expectation for health practitioners to be able to use research to inform their practice, opportunities for students to actually plan, conduct and report a research project are diminishing. Students are less able to gain first-hand experience of research as a result of demands to include more in curricula, and increasingly rigorous and time-consuming ethical review procedures. It is important, therefore, for health educators to explore different research methods and approaches. Content: This article proposes the synthesis, an entirely literature-based approach, as a method to enable students to plan and conduct a research project. It is more than a literature review in that it requires students to synthesize material from two previously unrelated fields. As a result it is possible to shine a new light on issues facing health-care professionals and their patients/clients, by bringing new ways of thinking to issues. Conclusions: Although the synthesis is a nascent concept in student health professional education, it has the potential to offer students first-hand experience of the research process, and so contribute to their development as research aware professionals.
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified