Evidence Library

Title: Broadening public participation in systematic reviews: a case example involving young people in two configurative reviews
Author: Oliver, K., Rees, R., Brady, L., Kavanagh, J., Oliver, S. and Thomas, J.
Date Published: 2015
Reference: Research Synthesis Methods, 6(2), 206-17
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known

Abstract: This article reports on the involvement of young people in two systematic reviews about obesity. The researchers attended two separate workshops with young people that were organised by the National Children’s Bureau Research Centre. The workshops were part of another initiative aiming to develop links between young people and researchers. The researchers carrying out the reviews made use of this opportunity rather than having planned the involvement from the beginning. The first review aimed to understand children’s views of body size, synthesising the findings from interview and questionnaire-based research. At the time of the workshops, the researchers had almost completed synthesising the evidence. They therefore asked the young people to comment on whether their initial findings covered the most important issues for children. The young people confirmed this was the case and so gave the researchers more confidence in their results. The second review aimed to explore the relationship between childhood obesity and an individual’s level of education. This review was at an earlier stage and therefore the researchers were able to ask the young people for their views on the links reported in the literature. The young people in the workshops thought that bullying of obese children and their mental and emotional health would be one of the most important factors that might explain a link between obesity and educational achievement. This issue had not been considered in the literature. Therefore, an important outcome of this involvement was to highlight gaps in the evidence-base that might not otherwise have been identified by the review team. The researchers reflect on the process of involvement and conclude it could have been improved by having more time for discussion with the young people and having more than one member of the review team present at the workshops.

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Categories: health
public health
Analysing and interpreting
impact on research
impact on implementation and change
impact of public involvement
journal article
Implementation and change

Date Entered: 2015/07/30

Date Edited: 2015/07/30

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