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Research-related activity

The North East Speech and Language Therapy Research Collaboration aims to raise awareness of the different ways to engage in research-related activities at three key levels:

Research

Projects which aim to derive new knowledge. These may include projects which generate hypotheses as well as studies that attempt to test them. They may involve quantitative and/or qualitative methods in order to address clearly defined question, aims and objectives.

e.g. “Does therapy X produce clinically significant outcomes within a timeframe that can be provided by NHS Speech and Language Therapists?

Clinical audit

Projects which aim to produce information to inform delivery of best care. These projects answer questions relating to whether current service delivery meets a predetermined standard.

e.g. “Are the services provided by my department meeting the standards set by the RCSLT’s Core Clinical Guidelines?

Service evaluation

Projects which aim to define or judge current care. These projects measure current service delivery without reference to a predetermined standard.

e.g. “Are the services provided by my department meeting the needs of its service users?

 

Knowing the difference between different research-related activities

It can sometimes be tricky to differentiate what type of research activity a project might be classified as. It is important to do this though as different activities have different processes and procedures associated with them, for example, for projects classifed as research, Ethical approval will be required from an NHS Research Ethics Committee. Ethical approval is not however required for projects classified as clinical audit or service evaluation.

To see other differences between the classifications the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) offers some useful information including a downloadable leaflet called 'Defining Research'.

 

Support in the research process

The research process can be very involved and can consist of many different activities. The North East Speech and Language Therapy Research Collaboration and the Research Facilitators are available to provide support for any stage of the research process. This support may involve:

For more information about what is involved at different stages of the research process, the NIHR present a comprehensive Research Flowchart which gives useful information and guidance.