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Critical perspectives on ‘consumer involvement’ in health research: epistemological dissonance and the know-do gap

Boote, J., Ward, P.R., Thompson, J., Barber, R., Armitage, C.J., Cooper, C.L. and Jones, G.L. (2009) Critical perspectives on ‘consumer involvement’ in health research: epistemological dissonance and the know-do gap. Journal of Sociology, 46 (1). pp. 63-82. ISSN 1741-2978


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Researchers in the area of health and social care (both in Australia and internationally) are encouraged to involve consumers throughout the research process, often on ethical, political and methodological grounds, or simply as ‘good practice’. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study in the UK of researchers’ experiences and views of consumer involvement in health research. Two main themes are presented in the paper. Firstly, we explore the ‘know-do gap’ which relates to the tensions between researchers’ perceptions of the potential benefits of, and their actual practices in relation to, consumer involvement. Secondly, we focus on one of the reasons for this ‘know-do gap’, namely epistemological dissonance. Findings are linked to issues around consumerism in research, lay/professional knowledges, the (re)production of professional and consumer identities and the maintenance of boundaries between consumers and researchers.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Sage. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Sociology. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Consumer involvement in research, Consumerism, Qualitative analysis, Data analysis, Epistemologies
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield) > Section of Public Health (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2009 10:24
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 13:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1440783309351771
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage
Identification Number: 10.1177/1440783309351771
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9065

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