Challenging Myths: Research Can Benefit Individuals And Services, As Well As Researchers Reflections On Doing Research In “The Community

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Authors: Carol Harvey, Ellie Fossey, Gillian Plant, Merinda Epstein, Ross Findlay, Carolyn Graham, Lorraine Lucas, Leonie Schoofs, VIC

Year: 1998

Event: 1998 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Research is generally assumed to benefit the wider community, but less importance is typically attached to whether it benefits the "researched". This ethical position is challenged by the consumer movement, and by those advocating participatory action research methodologies. In practical terms, this ethical position also hinders full consumer participation in research projects in terms of effective recruitment, as well as consumer involvement in the design, development and implementation of projects.

This paper will describe a quantitative research project that has attempted to incorporate consumer participation. Individual feedback for consumers and service providers has been developed, the relevance of which has been evaluated by consumers. We believe we have demonstrated that, with thoughtful design, quantitative research projects may provide meaningful information and knowledge not only to the researchers, but also to the research participants.

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