Evidence Library

Title: Consumers as researchers - innovative experiences in UK National Health Service Research.
Author: Caldon, L., Marshall-Cook, H., Speed, G., Reed, M. & Collins, K.
Date Published: 2010
Reference: International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34(5), 547-550.
Are service users or carers authors: Yes


This paper describes the successful collaboration between professional and consumer members of a research team, who worked together on a study of surgical treatment of women with breast cancer.

The consumers were involved from the beginning of the study and made a difference by:    

  • being involved in the recruitment of research staff and looking for different qualities amongst the applicants
  • developing the research documentation and making it more acceptable
  • advising on the recruitment of participants and ensuring the approach was ethically acceptable
  • taking part in data analysis, which led to a richer interpretation than would have otherwise been possible.

The research team conclude that involvement of consumers should be integral to the research process from the outset. They also recommend that researchers wishing to involve consumers seek advice from professionals and organisations with expertise in the field, to ensure good practice and optimise mutual benefit.

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Related entry: none currently available

Categories: health
Designing research
Analysing and interpreting
Writing up and disseminating
impact on research
impact on research ethics
impact on service users involved
impact of public involvement
journal article

Date Entered: 2010/09/28

Date Edited: 2012/11/21

Additional Info: