Consumer involvement in research – parent perceptions of partnership in cerebral palsy research: a qualitative study

Headrick, Katie, Thornton, Marelle, Hogan, Amy, Deramore Denver, Belinda, Drake, Gabrielle, and Wallen, Margaret (2022) Consumer involvement in research – parent perceptions of partnership in cerebral palsy research: a qualitative study. Disability and Rehabilitation. (In Press)

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Purpose: Identify perceptions of parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy about being consumer research partners and identify strategies to inform involvement of parents in cerebral palsy research.

Materials and methods: Twenty-two parents in New South Wales and Victoria (Australia) participated in this qualitative study. Seven interviews and three focus groups were completed. Interpretive description guided data analysis. Methodological rigor was enhanced through involving two consumer investigators in the research team, member checking, and multiple researchers completing data analysis and theme generation.

Results: Participants identified a range of factors that may influence their involvement in research partner roles. Main topics emerging from the data included “Research Is Better with Parents” and “Parents Benefit from Being Research Partners.” A third, “Parents as Research Partners,” contained the themes “Flexible Involvement,” “Starting Partnerships,” and “Building and Sustaining Partnerships.”

Conclusion: This study has provided a rich insight into how parents perceive and describe engaging as research partners. Parent-identified guidance will inform future partnerships aiming to enhance the quality of cerebral palsy research and outcomes for people with cerebral palsy and their families. The involvement of consumer investigators in this study was considered valuable for enhancing the quality and applicability of the research.


Parents believed that parent partnership in research has benefits for the research and for the consumers involved.

Parents provided guidance about the importance of starting, building and sustaining relationships in involving parents as research partners.

Understanding the parent context, investing in relationships and acknowledgement of, and recognition for, contributions were considered important for building and sustaining effective partnerships.

Flexible approaches to supporting parents as research partners was considered necessary for effective partnership.

Item ID: 74753
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-5165
Keywords: Cerebral palsy, co-researcher, consumer involvement, parents, patient and public involvement, research partner
Copyright Information: © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2022 03:11
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420199 Allied health and rehabilitation science not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200301 Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) @ 100%
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