Reflections on a participatory project: the rewards and challenges for the lead researchers.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:Participatory action research (PAR) offers potential for people with an intellectual disability to have an active voice in service provision. However, ensuring their meaningful engagement is not without challenges. Guided by PAR, a recent project to develop a quality of life tool provided learning opportunities for the lead researchers. This paper addresses 3 issues raised by Ramcharan, Grant, and Flynn (2004) in relation to participation of people with intellectual disability in research. METHOD:Informed by reflective practice, this paper draws on a combination of field notes and written reports to critically examine the 3 issues related to effective participation. RESULTS:Although the project achieved its goal of people with intellectual disability authoring a quality of life tool, there was variation in participants' contribution. With both data collection and analysis, prior experience and confidence influenced the participation of co-researchers. The financial and the practical support of the contracting organisation were crucial to enabling people to take part. CONCLUSIONS:For researchers interested in PAR, planning well whilst maintaining flexibility would appear to be key to achieving maximum participation.

authors

Conder J,Milner P,Mirfin-Veitch B

doi

10.3109/13668250.2010.548753

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-03-01 00:00:00

pages

39-48

issue

1

eissn

1366-8250

issn

1469-9532

journal_volume

36

pub_type

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