Putting it into Practice

Title: Researching health inequalities with Community Researchers: practical, methodological and ethical challenges of an ‘inclusive’ research approach
Author: Salway, S., Chowbey, P., Such, E. and Ferguson, B.
Date Published: 2015
Reference: Research Involvement and Engagement 2015, 1:9
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known

Abstract: Public health research sometimes uses members of communities as researchers. These are called Community Researchers. The advantage of using Community Researchers is that it enables people who live in communities to participate in research by designing the research, gathering data and being involved in analysis. This ‘participatory’ approach also has the potential to reach communities that might otherwise not be included in research. There are few studies that report the experiences of Community Researchers who take part in such research. This study helps fill this gap by exploring the issues and challenges faced by Community Researchers involved in a study of health and poverty in ethnically mixed areas of east London, UK. Through the accounts of 12 researchers, the study reveals that being a community ‘insider’ had advantages: many felt they had been able to gain the trust of respondents and access people for the research that would have otherwise been missed. The role of Community Researcher was, however, difficult to manage with some researchers feeling burdened by their role and the increased knowledge they had about the lives of those in their community. In addition to the personal challenges for the Community Researchers, the findings raise various ethical and methodological issues that need consideration in participatory research.

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Categories: journal article
service users and carers
research commissioners
ethical issues
paying service users for their involvement
lessons from direct experience of involvement
description of involvement in a research project
recruiting people to be actively involved in research
training and supporting service users
involving seldom heard groups
General guidance on involving the public in research

Date Entered: 2015/10/14

Date Edited: 2015/10/14

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