Health services research is vital in any medical specialty. In psychiatry, it has become more high-profile with the reconfiguration of different approaches to delivering care to patients. Research in this area often appeals to clinicians, who feel that the findings may be applicable to ‘real life’ clinical experience. However, many become disillusioned when faced with unexpected problems, not only with regulatory bodies such as ethics committees and funding organisations, but also by the practicalities of recruiting patients and involving fellow clinicians in their studies.
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