Research Abstracts: User Involvement

Title: Service user and carer involvement: beyond good intentions
Author: McPhail, Mo
Publisher: Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2008

The increasing focus on the involvement of people who use health and social care services and their carers in developing services and in social work education has the potential to bring significant change.

This book examines the challenges in enabling people who are “experts by experience” to participate in an agenda which is  largely dominated by “top-down” managerial practices. Based on a unique collaboration between academics, carers and care users who have worked together on a project to develop the involvement of service users and carers in social work education, this book identifies practices that go beyond good intentions to bring about significant change. The current climate of political and professional commitment to such service user and carer involvement is assessed and critically reviewed.

Title: User involvement, research and health inequalities: developing new directions
Author: Beresford, Peter
Reference: Health and Social Care in the Community, 15(4), July 2007, pp.306-312

Placed in the context of broader discussions and developments about service user involvement in research and evaluation, this paper looks at the role that user involvement research may play in health inequalities research.

It examines the pressures for and against such user involvement research, its different expressions and ideological relations, and what particular contribution it may have to offer in researching health inequalities.

In considering how it may help in developing substantive understandings of these issues and the role it may play in the future, particular attention is paid to the issue of enabling the diverse involvement of service users in order not to reinforce existing exclusions and barriers in research, policy and practice.

Title: User participation in health and social care research: voices, values and evaluation
Editors: Nolan, Mike et al
Publisher: Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007

User participation in research is still in its relative infancy with many practical, ethical, moral, methodological and philosophical questions unanswered.

This text gathers together an international set of authors to explore these issues and begin to forge some practical solutions to each of these concerns.

The book includes contributions on the use and application of narrative approaches, intervention and evaluation research, methodological development and quality thresholds. It provides a practical framework for all groups wishing to undertake research based on the principles and values of user participation.

Title: Participatory research
Editor: Dewing, Jan
Publisher: Dementia the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 6(1), February 2007, pp.11-25.

Consent threads through the whole qualitative research method, so getting this right can set the tone for person-centred relationships. This article describes a method for consent that focuses on persons with dementia, traditionally excluded from consent and thus from research, and also refocuses on consent as a process that runs through the research project. It also suggests that use of this model can strengthen the assent process. Examples from two contrasting doctoral studies will be offered to illustrate the method in action.


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