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Title: A qualitative study of public involvement in the National Cancer Research Network
Author: Thompson, Jill Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 2308
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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Contemporary health policy places increasing emphasis on involving the public In healthcare and health research. This thesis Is an empirical Investigation of public Involvement in the National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) In England, and draws upon emergent themes in the literature relating to quality, epistemic, democratic, accountability and empowerment claims for public Involvement In research, as well as Habermas' concepts of system and lifeworld. Research alms were to explore professional and public accounts of motivations and rational isations for public Involvement In research, consider how public (lifeworld) voices may be Integrated into health research (system) spaces and, explore what counts as credible expertise In health research settings. A qualitative approach was adopted and data were collected from selected case studies (a local research panel and national Clinical Studies Groups within the NCRN). The methods included participant and nonparticipant observations, Interviews with group members (professional and public) and documentary analysis. Analysis of data revealed an inherent ambiguity In relation to public involvement In health research. Involvement served multiple purposes for the public, Including the provision of social/support functions and opportunities to reconstruct illness/caring Identities, through the development of research skills and active roles within health research. Case studies revealed Inherent tensions as the Involved public and professionals attempted to demarcate their roles and Importantly the foundations of their credibility within the group. The identification of professional and public members' attempts to prevent the Integration of the public voice casts doubt on possible empowerment claims. Furthermore, the observation that many public members were highly deferential to certified expertise calls Into question their ability to bring a different perspective to research. Ultimately, public involvement In health research may be less the potential to re-couple system and lifeworld but rather a further colonisation of the public lifeworld by professional system knowledge and expertise.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available