Res Involv Engagem. 2021 Dec 24;7(1):91. doi: 10.1186/s40900-021-00333-7.
BACKGROUND: There is an increased interest to make the voices of frail older people heard in research by actively involving them in research processes. Involving frail older people in research could, however, be perceived as challenging by researchers. To actively involve frail older people in research processes in a meaningful way, the knowledge about their own views on what research is must be widened and deepened.
METHODS: Individual interviews were conducted with 17 frail older men and women with former experience of participation in research studies. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis.
RESULTS: Frail older people’s views on what research means are described through the main category; An essentiality beyond one’s own competence, which describes research as a complex process that is important for society but difficult to understand. This is described in the sub-categories; A driving force for societal development, A benefit when based on lived experience, A source of knowledge difficult to access and understand, and A respected job filled with responsibilities.
CONCLUSION: Different views on research from the perspective of frail older people show that research is viewed as a complex yet important phenomenon to frail older people. Research was also seen as a natural part in society. Research was viewed as difficult to access and understand. Thus, researchers must train themselves to communicate research findings to the public in an understandable way. To create common understandings through information and education, researchers might be better placed to involve frail older people in a meaningful way and thereby also have the possibility to develop good working practice and relationships with those involved.
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