Conceptualizing Quality in Participatory Health Research: A Phenomenographic Inquiry

  • Jane Springett University of Alberta
  • Kayla Atkey Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Krystyna Kongats University of Alberta
  • Rosslynn Zulla University of Alberta http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9881-830X
  • Emma Wilkins University of Alberta
Keywords: health and wellness, participatory action research (PAR), phenomenography, research quality, validity

Abstract

Participatory approaches to research are gaining popularity in health and wellness disciplines because of their potential to bridge gaps between research and practice and promote health equity. A number of guidelines have been developed to help research-practitioners gauge the quality of participatory health research (PHR). In light of the increasing popularization of this approach in the field of public health, there is a need to check in with current practitioners to see if their practices are still reflective of past guidelines. The aim of this study was to understand how research-practitioners currently conceptualize the quality of participatory health research in particular. Using phenomenographic inquiry, we interviewed 13 researchers who described their experience of PHR. We identified 15 categories of description and visually represented the relationship between the categories using an outcome space. Our findings suggest that conceptualizations of what is considered high quality PHR have remained consistent. This reliability bodes well for the development of quality criteria for participatory health research. We discuss implications for scaling up this study to compare quality criteria beyond a North American context.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1602274

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Author Biographies

Jane Springett, University of Alberta

Jane SPRINGETT, PhD, MA, is director of the Centre for Health Promotion Studies and professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Kayla Atkey, Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention

Kayla ATKEY, MSc, is a policy analyst with the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Krystyna Kongats, University of Alberta

Krystyna KONGATS, MPH, is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Rosslynn Zulla, University of Alberta

Rosslynn ZULLA, MEd, is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Emma Wilkins, University of Alberta

Emma WILKINS, MPH, is a research coordinator with the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Published
2016-05-19
How to Cite
Springett, J., Atkey, K., Kongats, K., Zulla, R., & Wilkins, E. (2016). Conceptualizing Quality in Participatory Health Research: A Phenomenographic Inquiry. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-17.2.2568
Section
FQS Debate: Quality of Qualitative Research