This case study describes the research careers of two lay researchers who were involved in a Big Lottery funded study of loneliness and isolation among older people. The two lay researchers made a difference to the design and conduct of the initial study by improving the research documentation, influencing data collection and analysis, and contributing to the writing up and dissemination. The research team concluded that the involvement of the lay researchers enhanced the quality, validity and relevance of the study. The lay researchers also describe the impact of involvement on their own quality of life, particularly in terms of developing new skills and gaining greater self-confidence. Their involvement also had an impact on the wider community. The participants reported they had benefited from taking part, and in particular they valued someone listening to their stories and taking time to listen. Based on the advice of the lay researchers, an event used to recruit participants made sure people were offered useful information about local services and health issues, so that community members benefited as well as the researchers. The two lay researchers have gone on to get involved in much larger research projects. They have also used their new skills and confidence to act as advocates for the greater involvement of older people in initiatives aiming to improve services.
Related entry: none currently available
Categories: health public health social care Designing research Undertaking research Analysing and interpreting Writing up and disseminating impact on funding/commissioning impact on research impact on service users involved impact on implementation and change impact of public involvement Recruitment Implementation and change
Date Entered: 2010/09/28
Date Edited: 2012/11/20