Putting it into Practice

Title: Older people as co-researchers: A collaborative journey
Author: Bindels, J., Baur, V., Cox, K., Heijing, S. and Abma, T.
Date Published: 2014
Reference: Ageing & Society, 34(6), 951-973
Are service users or carers authors: Yes

Abstract: This article reports on the findings from an evaluation of a research project, which involved three older people as co-researchers. The project aimed to explore the experiences of frail older people living in the community in The Netherlands. The evaluation took the form of semi-structured interviews with individual members of the research team, and two reflective team meetings. The article describes the team’s experiences as a journey and illustrates how mutual understanding and power-sharing developed over time. A key finding is that a reflective meeting at about six months into the project proved very useful in improving the collaboration. At this meeting, the team had a frank discussion about their concerns and expectations, as well as reflecting on how the collaboration could work better. This led to changes in roles and responsibilities, greater sharing of information and helped to resolve problems that had arisen at the beginning. The team therefore decided to hold another similar meeting six months later. The authors conclude that building in time for review and reflection is an important means of improving involvement processes. It provides opportunities for learning and making adaptive change.

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Categories: journal article
service users and carers
research commissioners
relevant to all service users
general principles of good practice
lessons from direct experience of involvement
undertaking research
staff in research organisations
General guidance on involving the public in research

Date Entered: 2014/08/19

Date Edited: 2014/08/19

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