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BMC Health Services Research

, 11:226

Health policy, reform, governance and law


BackgroundIn a manner similar to the television action hero MacGyver, health services researchers need to respond to the pressure of unpredictable demands and constrained time frames. The results are often both innovative and functional, with the creation of outputs that could not have been anticipated in the initial planning and design of the research.

DiscussionIn the conduct of health services research many challenges to robust research processes are generated as a result of the interface between academic research, health policy and implementation agendas. Within a complex and rapidly evolving environment the task of the health services researcher is, therefore, to juggle sometimes contradictory pressures to produce valid results.

SummaryThis paper identifies the MacGyver-type dilemmas which arise in health services research, wherein innovation may be called for, to maintain the intended scientific method and rigour. These -MacGyver drivers- are framed as opposing issues from the perspective of both academic and public policy communities. The ideas expressed in this paper are illustrated by four examples from research projects positioned at the interface between public policy strategy and academia.

List of Abbreviations usedABCAmerican Broadcasting Company.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-11-226 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Roshan Perera and Helen J Moriarty contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Roshan Perera - Helen J Moriarty


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