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This article discusses the philosophical basis of action research and the methods by which it may be earned out These are related to a ward development action research project, and the initial phase of this project is discussed Methodological and ethical issues arising during the project are considered, and themes emerging from the data are analysed The action researcher's personal experiences and feelings about being involved in the study are discussed, and this reflexive aspect is drawn together to suggest implications for the next and ‘action’ stage of the project