Abstract: Two goals of public health research are to understand what causes disease and ill health, and what can be done to prevent it. To develop appropriate and effective actions, we need to know what resources are available to communities, and what are the beliefs and values that influence behaviour. This means that research needs to be carried out close to the people it affects, to better understand context and environment, as well as people’s understandings and interpretations of health and health risk.
Connected for Cognitive Health in Later Life (CHILL) was a project developed to test whether engaging local residents in research might be a good way of firstly: raising awareness of research findings in the community; and secondly, affecting mid-life behaviours in favour of ageing well and reducing risk of dementia. We investigated perceptions of ageing and how to age ‘well’ in a town whose population health is ranked worse than the regional average. Project activities involved: identifying and engaging with stakeholders; conducting ‘mini’ street interviews; holding community workshops; and taking part in a large community event.
This paper describes the process of carrying out the research, and presents a flavour of some of the information captured on context and local understanding of dementia risk. It then goes on to discuss in more depth some of the challenges in attempting to involve people in shaping research and intervention development, before offering some conclusions and suggested next steps for researchers.
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Categories: journal article researchers general principles of good practice identifying and prioritising topics members of the public General guidance on involving the public in research
Date Entered: 2018/11/26
Date Edited: 2018/11/26