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Removing the ‘gag’: involving people with dementia in research as advisers and participants

  Created on Thursday, 02 Mar 2017. Posted in Literature

Removing the ‘gag’: involving people with dementia in research as advisers and participants Jenni Brooks, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics, Sheffield Hallam University; Nada Savitch, Innovations in Dementia; Kate Gridley, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York

Abstract

People with dementia are often excluded from taking part in research because of perceived difficulties in consent, capacity and communication. We argue that involving people with dementia in research is important, and describe how we involved people with dementia as both advisers and participants in research about the use of life story work.

Researchers worked in partnership with Innovations in Dementia, who supported a network of advisers with dementia. Focus groups were arranged to ensure meaningful contributions by people with dementia. It was difficult to use standardised quality-of-life measures, and we describe the challenges faced with capacity and consent, recruitment and selection, and data collection.  We suggest there is a need for (a) new tools for measuring quality of life of people with dementia which do not require participants to respond in prescribed ways, and (b) ethics and consent processes which are appropriate for non-medical research and which facilitate the involvement of people with dementia.

Read the full paper on: http://the-sra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/social-research-practice-journal-issue-03-winter-2017.pdf  (see page 3 - 14)