Material practices for meaningful engagement: An analysis of participatory learning and action research techniques for data generation and analysis in a health research partnership

Mary O'Reilly-de Brún, Tomas de Brún, Catherine A. O'Donnell, Maria Papadakaki, Aristoula Saridaki, Christos Lionis, Nicola Burns, Chris Dowrick, Katja Gravenhorst, Wolfgang Spiegel, Chris Van Weel, Evelyn Van Weel-Baumgarten, Maria Van den Muijsenbergh, Anne MacFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The material practices which researchers use in research partnerships may enable or constrain the nature of engagement with stakeholder groups. Participatory learning and action (PLA) research approaches show promise, but there has been no detailed analysis of stakeholders’ and researchers’ experiences of PLA techniques for data generation and co-analysis. Objectives: To explore stakeholders’ and researchers’ experiences of PLA techniques for data generation and co-analysis. Design: The EU RESTORE implementation science project employed a participatory approach to investigate and support the implementation of guidelines and training initiatives (GTIs) to enhance communication in cross-cultural primary care consultations. We developed a purposeful sample of 78 stakeholders (migrants, general practice staff, community interpreters, service providers, service planners) from primary care settings in Austria, England, Greece, Ireland and The Netherlands. We used speed evaluations and participatory evaluations to explore their experiences of two PLA techniques—Commentary Charts and Direct Ranking—which were intended to generate data for co-analysis by stakeholders about the GTIs under analysis. We evaluated 16 RESTORE researchers’ experiences using interviews. We conducted thematic and content analysis of all evaluation data. Results: PLA Commentary Charts and Direct Ranking techniques, with their visual, verbal and tangible nature and inherent analytical capabilities, were found to be powerful tools for involving stakeholders in a collaborative analysis of GTIs. Stakeholders had few negative experiences and numerous multifaceted positive experiences of meaningful engagement, which resonated with researchers’ accounts. Conclusion: PLA techniques and approaches are valuable as material practices in health research partnerships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Expectations
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • health research partnerships
  • migrant health
  • participatory research
  • public and patient involvement

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    O'Reilly-de Brún, M., de Brún, T., O'Donnell, C. A., Papadakaki, M., Saridaki, A., Lionis, C., Burns, N., Dowrick, C., Gravenhorst, K., Spiegel, W., Van Weel, C., Van Weel-Baumgarten, E., Van den Muijsenbergh, M., & MacFarlane, A. (2018). Material practices for meaningful engagement: An analysis of participatory learning and action research techniques for data generation and analysis in a health research partnership. Health Expectations, 21(1), 159-170. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12598