Identifying and prioritising topics
Getting involved in helping to identify and prioritise research is a powerful way to be involved as it gives you the chance to influence what will be researched. It gives researchers the chance to check that their research priorities are the same as those of the people who have the condition that is being researched or who use the relevant services.
By working with researchers and patient groups you can help identify a number of research questions. This will give everyone a chance to learn from each other, agree on the research questions together, and the final topic should be a shared decision between the group.
Researchers and research organisations use a range of different ways to work with the you to identify and prioritise research. These include:
- discussions with existing reference groups and networks
- inviting people to an event or holding a workshop or focus group
- attending meetings held by service user groups
- peer group interviews
- surveys and interviews
- asking organisations who support the public about the feedback they get from people who use services
- using an independent facilitator (this reduces the risk of researchers influencing the agenda too much).
Sometimes it is difficult for people who are unfamiliar with research to identify research questions. so you might want to talk about some of the issues before the first meeting, before discussing how these might be turned into research questions.