School of Population and Global Health

Methods of involvement

Involvement

The Consumer and Community Involvement Program have developed and implemented a range of methods for involving consumers and community members in research.

Our philosophy is ‘one size does not fit all’ so it is important for researchers, consumers and the community to work together to find the most appropriate involvement for the particular research project

Methods of Involvement

The range of methods adopted by the Consumer and Community Health Network includes:

A number of resources that support the implementation of consumer and community participation can be found on our advocacy and advice page.

Definition of methods of involvement

Consumers and community members on teams

This is commonly referred to as having a consumer or community representative. If you use this model, you should try to involve at least two consumers and/or community members. You should also ensure that you involve people who feel confident enough to speak out when meeting with a group of professionals and experts.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Reference groups

Involving consumers and/or community members in a reference group means that you have a group you can refer to throughout your project. Consumer or community members may be especially helpful in getting information out about activities being planned. You may establish a reference group to work with you to develop an appropriate strategy for disseminating results of the activities to consumers and community members. Most community organisations have contact lists or newsletters that they are willing to make available for sharing information with their members.

If consumers or community members find travelling difficult, live a long way away, or prefer not to meet face to face consider setting up virtual reference groups. These groups provide input by video conferencing, email, Facebook pages, text messaging or phone.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Steering group or panel

A steering group will help to steer your project. It will have more influence and involvement than a reference group, which only provides advice. Therefore this model is only appropriate if you involve consumers and community members from a very early stage in your project. You might involve people in a steering group, which consists of a range of other stakeholders. If you use this method you should involve at least two consumers or community members. Alternatively you might set up a steering group, which consists solely of consumers or community members.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Consumer and Community Advisory Councils

Consumer and Community Advisory Councils have been established at The UWA School of Population Health and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. The aim of the Councils is to enable the development of partnerships between consumers, community members and researchers.

Councils work together to provide advice and expertise on consumer and community participation at a strategic level across the organisations. They are also available to provide advice and a consumer / community perspective on research programs if required.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Commenting on documents

Involving consumer and/or community organisations to review pamphlets, brochures, information sheets, consent forms or writing lay summaries of projects or research can assist in producing documents that can be easily understood by health consumers or community members. It can also be very helpful in ‘detecting’ jargon and acronyms.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Grant application reviewers

Consumers and community members are increasingly involved in providing a consumer perspective on grant applications. Organisations such as Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Australia have developed guidelines for consumer review of their grant applications and consumers are involved in all aspects of their research grant allocation process. The Western Australian Department of Health State Health Advisory Research Council has had a consumer representative on their review panel for the past five years.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Community consultations and forums

This involves holding one-off or occasional meetings with community members or consumers who have a common or shared interest to ask for their views or input. This could be about the design of a specific project, community issues, priorities for new services and the potential impact or benefit to the community. You can use these consultation meetings to recruit people to get involved in other projects.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Consumer and/or community researchers

Sometimes consumers and community members work with ‘professional’ researchers to undertake research. They might be involved in interviewing other consumers or community members, co-facilitating focus groups or analysing results of interviews or questionnaires.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Research buddies

Research buddies are consumers and community members who provide links between the researcher, other consumers and community members, organisations and/or the research funder. They may be helpful when the researcher is using linked data or working in a laboratory and does not have any direct contact with consumers or community members. Research buddies may provide insight into unexpected or unexplained research findings, and can also help with the dissemination of the research.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

Community expo

Community Expo’s are a method to present an array of research projects to a wide range of community members and stakeholders. Consumers and community members are able to listen to short presentations, view posters and talk directly to researchers about their work.

Community Expo’s support researchers, consumers and community members building relationships that can lead to opportunities for increased involvement of consumers and community members in research.

Research projects that have adopted this approach are:

 

School of Population and Global Health

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 8 August, 2017 12:16 PM

http://www.sph.uwa.edu.au/2554862