Broadening Diversity Through Creative Engagement in Research Prioritisation
Background: Patient and public involvement (PPI) can help with steering and shaping research prioritisation and execution. However, some groups of people may not be encouraged to take part and their voices may be seldom listened to in the production of research. This is important to consider because they may have poorer healthcare experiences. We wanted to try out using art as a vehicle for including individuals not necessarily invited to be part of research priority setting. Methods: We
... Methods: We contacted existing groups and organisations to reach people who are not routinely supported to be part of PPI. We targeted individuals: a) with dementia, b) with mental health conditions, and c) from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. We ran a workshop with each group at which individuals shared their experiences of healthcare. A young amateur artist also attended, who produced a piece of artwork afterwards that reflected the research priorities raised. We held a Twitter chat to discuss the final pieces of art that were created, and the processes involved in their generation.Results: From each workshop, we produced a list of research priorities. These included: a) improving coordination of care for people with dementia, b) supporting discussion of women's health issues in South Asian communities, c) information needs, anxiety/guilt around accessing care and costs associated with this for people with a mixture of physical and mental health conditions. These priorities were reflected in three pieces of art, which can be viewed online. Feedback from those at workshops suggested that the artwork has helped them to feel their voice has been heard and triggered their interest in how research is developed. Those involved in the Twitter chat commented that art was one means through which researchers could connect with a range of groups in a PPI context when preparing and then producing a study. Conclusions: We found the medium of art to be an effective way of including a range of people in research prioritisation setting. This approach could be useful for future public involvement and engagement, building on what we have learnt from the project described in this paper.