4 thoughts on “Consumer Engagement

  1. Well said Kate thank you for this. As a researcher I have struggled with the inequities that exist between the various people involved in research projects. One example would be the accepted practice of clinicians being paid for their participation in some (not all) research projects, while consumers are typically not. This can be reinforced when ethics committees require that participants (particularly consumers) are not paid, or are paid only a nominal fee that would not constitute an unethical incentive to participate. I agree that there is a justification in safeguarding the consent process, to ensure that people are not bribed or manipulated into participating. However it still seems that these safeguards could be protected in other ways than by prohibiting participant payments. It seems there is an underlying inequity in the process.

    I think your idea of valuing the intellectual property that everyone brings to the research (or any problem/challenge/question) might provide a way forward. It brings up that age old question in community-based participatory research – who’s knowledge is this? It seems sensible to me that we have an agreed way of valuing the people, and experiences, from which the research findings are generated and refined. As well as valuing the work of those whose job it is to organise and analyse this raw information.

    Are you aware of any guidelines in this area, that might inform consultation with consumers?

    Thanks very much again,
    Craig

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