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Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers

A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers Chapter 7: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers Chapter overview The term ‘qualitative research’ encompasses a wide range of different methods. What underpins these is a shared aim of understanding the meaning people attribute to experiences in their lives. It has been defined as an ‘interpretive approach concerned with understanding the meanings which people attach to actions, decisions, beliefs, values within their social world’ (Ritchie and

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers

This handbook is written for patients and members of the public who want to understand more about the approaches, methods and language used by health-services researchers. Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research is now a requirement of most major health-research programmes, and this book is designed to equip these individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for meaningful participation. Edited by award-winning mental-health researchers, the book has been produced in partnership with mental-health-service users and carers with experience of research involvement. It includes personal reflections from these individuals alongside detailed information on quantitative, qualitative and health-economics research methods, and comprehensively covers all the basics needed for large-scale health research projects: systematic reviews; research design and analysis using both qualitative and quantitative approaches; health economics; research ethics; impact and dissemination. This book was developed during a five-year research programme funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) called Enhancing the Quality of User Involved Care Planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP). The handbook clearly outlines research practices, and gives an insight into how public and patient representatives can be involved in them and shape decisions. Each chapter ends with a reflective exercise, and there are also some suggested sources of additional reading. People who get involved in health research as experts from experience now have a textbook to support their research involvement journey.

Open Access (free)
The politics of immigration controversies

In July 2013, the UK government arranged for a van to drive through parts of London carrying the message ‘In the UK illegally? GO HOME or face arrest.’ The vans were short-lived, but they were part of an ongoing trend in government-sponsored communication designed to demonstrate control and toughness around immigration. This book explores the effects of such performances of toughness: on policy, on public debate, on pro-migrant and anti-racist activism, and on the everyday lives of people in Britain. This book both presents research findings, and provides insights into the practice of conducting research on such a charged and sensitive topic.

Blending original research, theoretical analysis, and methodological reflections, the book addresses questions such as:

  • Who gets to decide who ‘belongs’?
  • How do anti-migrant sentiments relate to changing forms of racism?
  • Are new divisions, and new solidarities, emerging in the light of current immigration politics?


Written in a clear and engaging style, the book sets an agenda for a model of collaborative research between researchers, activists, and people on the ground.

This book was developed during a five-year research programme funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This study aimed to improve service user and carer involvement in care planning in mental health services. The study was called Enhancing the Quality of User Involved Care Planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP). Its aim is to help other public and patient representatives increase their understanding and skills in research methods. The EQUIP programme used a range of different research methods to achieve its goals, and you will read

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Open Access (free)
Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age
Editors: Thom Davies and Alice Mah

This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.

Andrew C. Grundy

advertised as widely as possible to ensure that they are accessible to a broad range of people from different backgrounds. Adequate training should be provided to ensure that people can be involved in research in a meaningful way (e.g. research methods and how clinical services are organised and commissioned). 10 BEE (RESEARCH) PRINT.indd 10 11/05/2018 16:14 A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers Figure 1 Levels of service user involvement Leadership Since the mid-1990s, increasing emphasis has been placed on the importance of PPI. The

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Helen Brooks and Penny Bee

public representatives engage in health services research and work meaningfully with academic and clinical research teams in true partnership. It has been co-written with service users and carers from the NIHR EQUIP research programme and aims to help other public and patient representatives increase their understanding and skills in research methods. Health research is incredibly important. It helps to develop and evaluate new treatments, improve patient safety, and identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care. As a

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Jean-Marc Fontan and Denis Bussière

, ‘community-based participatory research’, and ‘community-university partnerships’. Putting differences aside, all of these forms of research seek to break the traditional research mould, where participants are merely research subjects. These community-oriented research methods also subscribe to and participate in change in practices and social change. Throughout this chapter, for the terms ARUC-ÉS and RQRP-ÉS partnership research will be used. Research initiated by practitioners In partnership research, research questions come from the field. Practitioners are at the heart

in Knowledge, democracy and action
Open Access (free)
Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi and Alison Lewis

control trials.2 The demotion of the medical case study to a method used mainly in clinical practice is a direct result of the scientific turn in these fields, which prioritises large sample sizes and serialisation. Evidence-based research methods have replaced the more discursive, even searching style of case histories or case studies. Still, in medical practice, for complex cases, recent years have seen a renewed interest in organising specialist meetings of the various medical experts involved in patient treatment. Such gatherings of experts return the patient to the

in A history of the case study
Open Access (free)
Paul Henley

film-making did not involve academic anthropologists in a direct or active way in the production itself, nor was it necessarily based on prior academic research. However, its underlying production methods were similar to the field research methods typically employed by academic ethnographers in the sense that they were based on a prolonged period of participant-observation by the film-makers of a relatively small group of people or of a specific social institution, often over several months or even years, and they could also involve, even if only implicitly, some

in Beyond observation