Research Practice and Methodology

Collection of articles on Research Practice and Methodology is available here.

Embedding patient and public involvement in dementia research: Reflections from experiences during the ‘Journeying through Dementia’ randomised controlled trial.
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Beresford-Dent J, Sprange K, Mountain G, Mason C, Wright J, Craig C, et al.
Dementia (London, England). 2022 Jun;14713012221106816.
BACKGROUND: The involvement of people with a diagnosis of dementia in patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in research is an emerging field in the delivery of studies. Researchers need to understand and use the learning derived from various projects so that this growing body of knowledge can be applied in future research. OBJECTIVE: To embed PPIE throughout a randomised controlled trial of a psychosocial intervention called Journeying through Dementia. We identify and discuss the approaches to involvement that worked well and those where improvements were indicated. DESIGN: The Guidance for Reporting Involvement of Patients and the Public Short Form (GRIPP2-SF) is used to describe and critically appraise the approaches taken and the impact of PPIE involvement upon study processes, the study team and those people with dementia and their supporters who acted as advisors. FINDINGS: The involvement of people with a diagnosis of dementia and supporters as study advisors improved the accessibility and relevance of the research for people living with dementia. It also highlighted issues that researchers may have otherwise overlooked. Successful engagement of people with dementia and their supporters in the study was associated with staff skills and particularly use of techniques to scaffold meaningful involvement, as well as participants’ memory and cognitive capacity. However, embedding robust and meaningful involvement processes required significant time and resources. DISCUSSION: We propose that certain research processes need to be adapted to be accessible and appropriate for people living with dementia. Recruitment of PPIE advisors needs to reflect population diversity. There also needs to be greater parity of voice between people with lived experience of dementia and researchers. These steps will increase the impact of PPIE in research and improve the experience for those who volunteer to be PPIE advisors.

Mapping author taxonomies and author criteria: good practices for thinking through complex authorship situations.
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DeTora LM.
Current medical research and opinion. 2022 Jun;1–7.
Authorship criteria can be difficult to apply in complex situations, such as multicenter clinical trials, multidisciplinary research, or manuscripts reporting the results of several studies. Authors may need additional guidance to appropriately credit their colleagues even when using existing accepted author criteria and/or contributor taxonomies to guide their decisions. Definitions and explanations of authorship by various editorial groups such as International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the Committee on Publication Ethics, the World Association of Medical Editors, and the Council of Science Editors emphasize intellectual input and accountability. Existing contributor taxonomies list additional activities that should be credited, but do not stand in for authorship criteria or confer authorship. The literature was searched for existing guidelines for authors that suggest how to apply accepted authorship criteria to activities listed in contributor taxonomies. No publication was identified that mapped specific authorship criteria to particular contributor taxonomies. Suggestions were developed to assist in differentiating activities that meet author criteria from other contributions outlined in two existing contributor taxonomies.

A scoping review to identify and describe the characteristics of theories, models and frameworks of health research partnerships.
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Tittlemier BJ, Cooper J, Steliga D, Woodgate RL, Sibley KM.
Health research policy and systems. 2022 Jun;20(1):69.
BACKGROUND: Engaging users of health research, namely knowledge users, as partners in the research process may to lead to evidence that is more relevant to the users. This may optimize the uptake of evidence in healthcare practice, resulting in improved health outcomes or more efficient healthcare systems. However, barriers to involving knowledge users in the research process exist. Theories, models and frameworks may help guide the process of involving knowledge users and address barriers to engaging with knowledge users in research; however, there is little evidence identifying or describing the theories, models and frameworks of health research partnerships. OBJECTIVES: Identify and describe theories, models and frameworks of health research partnerships. Report on concepts of knowledge user engagement represented in identified theories, models and frameworks. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review. Database (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PCORI) and ancestry and snowball searches were utilized. Included articles were written in English, published between January 2005 and June 2021, specific to health, a research partnership, and referred to a theory, model or framework. No critical appraisal was conducted. We developed a coding framework to extract details related to the publication (e.g. country, year) and theory, model or framework (e.g. intended users, theoretical underpinning, methodology, methods of development, purpose, concepts of knowledge user engagement). One reviewer conducted data extraction. Descriptive statistics and narrative synthesis were utilized to report the results. RESULTS: We identified 21 874 articles in screening. Thirty-nine models or frameworks were included in data analysis, but no theory. Two models or frameworks (5%) were underpinned by theory. Literature review was the method (n = 11, 28%) most frequently used to develop a model or framework. Guiding or managing a partnership was the most frequently reported purpose of the model/framework (n = 14, 36%). The most represented concept of knowledge user engagement was principles/values (n = 36, 92%). CONCLUSIONS: The models and frameworks identified could be utilized by researchers and knowledge users to inform aspects of a health research partnership, such as guidance or implementation of a partnership. Future research evaluating the quality and applicability of the models and frameworks is necessary to help partners decide which model or framework to implement.