There is increasing recognition that advances in medicine are only part of the answer to better health care. These advances, together with rising expectations of health care users, mean that demands on the way we organize and deliver services will become greater. It is therefore essential that we advance our understanding and knowledge of how best to organize and deliver health services. This book, written by experienced teachers and researchers, introduces research methods from a wide range of social science disciplines and applies them to health service research. Each chapter takes a different research method or approach and provides: theoretical background; a description of the method; advice on how to use it; relevant examples; a discussion of the limitations of the method; a list of further reading. Research methods covered include: epidemiology; organizational psychology; action research; political science/policy analysis; organizational economics; historical methods and operational research. This book also looks at the issues in synthesizing evidence from qualitative research and non-experimental quantitative studies. This is a reader for researchers, students and research funders and provides an appropriate text for the growing number of courses in the multidisciplinary field of health services research.