The Use of Research Method in Top Health Sciences Research Article: A Systematic Review

Imane Ghazlane, Khalid Marnoufi, Bouzekri Touri, Mohamed Bergadi


The definitions of scientific research provided in several books state that it is a logical or rational process based on the systematic collection and analysis of data. This definition has the advantage of emphasizing the importance of the research method design. However, there is no consensus on how research methods should be conceptualized. There is no consensus in health sciences on what constitutes a research method. Very few understand the design of the different sections method and their interrelationships that may influence the result and useful research. Consequently, this review provides an overview of all methodological reports used in a sample of 103 leading articles published between 2016 and 2019 in the health sciences discipline, including medicine, nursing, health professions, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. It indicates that quantitative research is widespread, and observational studies, whether clinical or epidemiological, remain highly exploited in all disciplines. Despite the classification of the studied articles, there are gaps in the sampling section. This work highlights the application and design of research methods used in different disciplines. Thus, their result can determine the impact on health as a science and further research on the application and performance in the research method design. In addition, the results can prompt the rigor and compliance with methodological standards in each method subsection and put under the microscope the under-use of some research methods.


Keywords: health sciences, research method, research design, systematic review, research rigor.

Full Text:




View=article &id=8&Itemid=149

BERGH G V den. Research methodology in global and rehabilitation: Mixed methods approaches and context-sensitive research. Physiotherapy, 101, e1570–e1571.

RÖHRIG B, DU PREL J-P, WACHTLIN D, and BLETTNER M, Types of study in medical research: part 3 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 2009, 106,15: 262-268.

CASTELO P M. Improving the Quality of Data Presentation in Health Sciences. Archives of Oral Biology, 2019, 98:123–25, 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2018.11.016.

CHU H, and KE Q. Research Methods: What’s in the Name? Library & Information Science Research, 2017, 39(4): 284–294, 10.1016/j.lisr.2017.11.001.

COLORAFI K J, and EVANS B. Méthodes Descriptives Qualitatives Dans La Recherche En Sciences de La Santé. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 2016, 9(4):16–25, 10.1177/1937586715614171.

CRESWELL J W, PLANO C. Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Sage Publications, Inc, 2011.

FERREIRA A L L, BESSA M M M, DREZETT J, and DE ABREU L C. Quality of life of the woman carrier of endometriosis: systematized review. Reproducao e Climaterio, 2016, 31: 4854, 10.1016/j.recli.2015.12.002

FORTIN M F. Foundations and steps in the research process quantitative and qualitative method. Chenelière education: Montréal, 2010.

GAGLIO B, HENTON M, BARBEAU A, et al. Methodological Standards for Qualitative and Mixed Methods Patient Centered Outcomes Research. BMJ, 2020, 371: m4435, 10.1136/bmj.m4435.

GHAZLANE I, MARNOUFI K, TOURI B, and BERGADI M. The Design of the Research Method in Graduate Research Work (2020). Psychological Applications and Trends, 2020, 262-264 10.36315/2020inpact060

HARPREET S. Research in health sciences meaning type and scope in today’s era. International Journal of Current Research, ·2021, 13(1): 15741, 10.24941/ijcr.40713.01.2021

HOWLETT B. Healthcare research methods. In HOWLETT B, ROGO E J, & SHELTON T G. Evidence Based Practice for Health Professionals: An Interprofessional Approach. 2013, Chapter 2: 25-56. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.

IOANNIDIS J P A. Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful. PLOS Medicine, 2016, 13(6): e1002049.

JOHNSON B T, & HENNESSY E A. Systematic review and Meta-analyses in the health sciences: Best practice methods for research syntheses. Social Science & Medicine, 2019, 233: 237–251.

LAUNOIS R, TROUILLER J B, and CABOUT E. Comment mesurer l’efficacité en vie réelle ? Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises, 2018, 76(6): 421–35. 10.1016/j.pharma.2018.07.003.

LORENZINI E, & LORENZINI E. Mixed-Method Research in the Health Sciences. Revista Cuidarte, 2017, 8(2), 1549–1560.

LOURES E R, LIA Y., & CANCIGLIERI Junior O. A Classification and summarization method for analysis of research activities in an academic faculty. Production, 2017, 27(spe): e20162163,

WHO. Health Research Methodology: A Guide for Training in Research Methods. 2003. Second edition.

ONWUEGBUZIE A J, and COLLINS K M. The role of sampling in mixed methods research enhancing inference quality. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 2017, 69(2): 133–156, 10.1007/s11577-017-0455-0

ROLLER M R, and LAVRAKAS P J. Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach. 2015. New York, NY, US: The Guilford Press.

SANTIAGO-DELEFOSSE M, GAVIN A, BRUCHEZ C, et al. Quality of Qualitative Research in the Health Sciences: Analysis of the Common Criteria Present in 58 Assessment Guidelines by Expert Users. Social Science & Medicine, 2016, 148: 142–51, 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.007.

SARR M G, and BEHRNS K E. A Challenge to the World of Health Sciences Research and Others. Surgery, 2019, 165(2): 286–87. 10.1016/j.surg.2018.10.010.

SEAMAN C H C. Research methods: Principles, practice and theory for nursing. (3e Ed). 1987. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange.

ZHENG M. Conceptualization of cross-sectional mixed methods studies in health science: a methodological review. International Journal of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, 2015, 3(2): 67-86.


  • There are currently no refbacks.