If involvement’s the solution…

Capture… what’s the problem?

I don’t think we make this clear…

What involvement does is bring new knowledge and a different perspective to research – it’s information that’s ‘new’ to researchers and a world-view that’s different to their own. When you look in detail at how involvement makes a difference, it often fills a gap in researchers’ knowledge, or corrects an assumption they’ve made, or identifies a problem they haven’t anticipated. It reveals what the researchers don’t know – the unexpected.

At the beginning of any project, the researchers don’t know what they don’t know – and don’t find out until they’ve involved patients. How would they know, for example, that the wording of their recruitment letter was putting people off, until a patient read it and told them?

I think this is why some researchers haven’t understood what involvement will do for them. They don’t even realise they’ve got a problem, so don’t perceive a need for the ‘involvement solution’. We try to persuade researchers to do involvement by telling them about the benefits for research – maybe it would be more effective to help them realise there are things they don’t know that patients do.


2 thoughts on “If involvement’s the solution…

  1. Hits the nail on the head Kristina and the same could apply to other areas such as strategic planning, service design and improvement, information … Same solution and lots of common problems!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think that’s right Isla, involvement is doing the same thing in these different places – filling knowledge gaps and challenging assumptions. Is this a more helpful way to talk about what involvement does?


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