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Consumer engagement in occupational therapy health-related research: A scoping review of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal and a call to action.

Authors
  • Cox, Ruth1, 2
  • Kendall, Melissa3, 4
  • Molineux, Matthew2
  • Miller, Elizabeth5
  • Tanner, Bernadette5
  • 1 Occupational Therapy Department, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, Coopers Plains, Qld, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Qld, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service and Transitional Rehabilitation Program, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Buranda, Qld, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Qld, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 Consumer Co-Researcher, C/O Occupational Therapy Department, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, Coopers Plains, Qld, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Australian occupational therapy journal
Publication Date
Oct 12, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1440-1630.12704
PMID: 33047341
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Consumer engagement in research is becoming an ethical, political, and moral imperative. The aim of this scoping review was to provide a snapshot of the current status of the emerging area of consumer engagement in occupational therapy health-related research, as published in the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. A scoping review was conducted of all health-related original research published in the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal for 5½ years, plus Early View, as at June 2019. Eligible papers were examined for consumer engagement content which included any active choice or control by consumers, beyond being a research participant. A recognised six stage methodology was used with quantitative and qualitative data analysed. Two consumers collaborated in interpreting the data including finalising themes, leading theme naming, developing key discussion points, and producing recommendations. Of the 123 eligible papers, 48 (39.02%) included consumer engagement. However, only two incorporated consumer engagement across all research phases-preparation, execution and translation. A total of 103 consumer engagement activities were charted and categorised across all papers. There were limited instances of consumer collaboration (14/103, 13.59%) or consumer-led research processes (15/103, 14.56%) reported. Four themes emerged: Parity in research partnerships; It's important to know the Who, What, When, How and So What of consumer involvement; Consumer engagement must be a two-way process-not a dead end street; and Meeting the challenge-being diverse and inclusive. Comprehensive consumer-researcher partnerships may not be common-place in health-related occupational therapy research in the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. This paper is a call to action. Occupational therapists must embrace consumer research partnerships as a demonstration of the key philosophies of enabling and empowering consumers and communities. Collaboration with two consumers in finalising data analysis, results interpretation and reporting added a diverse and valuable perspective. © 2020 Occupational Therapy Australia.

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