Understanding citizenship within a health and social care context in Scotland using community based participatory research methods

Gillian MacIntyre, Nicola Cogan, Ailsa Stewart, Neil Quinn, Michael Rowe, Maria O'Connell

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Community based participatory research (CBPR) principles were used to develop a conceptual framework of citizenship for people experiencing mental health problems and/or other life disrupting events in Scotland. This case study illustrates the use of a participatory methodology replicating an approach adopted as part of an international collaboration in understanding citizenship across diverse social and cultural contexts. Reflecting on the approach taken, we argue that it encourages the development of a model of citizenship that is entirely grounded in the perspectives and lived experiences of the participants. We consider the importance of ‘meaningfully’ engaging peer researchers throughout the research process, exploring the methodological issues, challenges and opportunities when working in partnership. The importance of adopting a reflexive approach throughout the research approach is emphasised. We consider how the need for adequate resources, preparatory work, training and research management is key to the success of a CBPR approach with peer researchers. Finally, we suggest making appropriate adaptations to any research methodology when working with diverse populations, particularly the ‘seldom heard’ groups within society, in order to inform health and social policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalSAGE Research Methods Cases
Early online date17 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2018


  • social policy
  • public policy
  • mental health policy
  • citizenship

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