the systematic, rigorous investigation of a situation or problem in order to generate new knowledge or validate existing knowledge. Research in health care takes place in a variety of areas and has many potential benefits; the areas include professional practice, environmental issues affecting health, vitality, treatments, theory development, health care economics, and many others. Health care research can be conducted by one group of professionals for generation of knowledge specific to that group, or by a diverse group of researchers collaborating on a given health care problem. applied research scientific investigations conducted to answer specific clinical questions or solve practice-related problems. basic research scientific investigation that involves the generation of new knowledge or development of new theories; its results often cannot be applied directly to specific clinical situations. correlational research the systematic investigation of relationships among two or more variables, without necessarily determining cause and effect. descriptive research research that provides an accurate portrayal of characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or group. These studies are a means of discovering new meaning, describing what exists, determining the frequency with which something occurs, and categorizing information.