Article of the month: January 2017

A synthesis of the evidence on peer research with potentially vulnerable adults: how this relates to dementiaDi Lorito C, Birt L, Poland F, Csipke E, Gove D, Diaz-Ponce A, Orrell M. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Jan;32(1):58-67. doi: 10.1002/gps.4577. Review.

Peer research, co-research, or participatory research, is an innovative form of PPI where people living with dementia undertake research activities such as data collection alongside academics. Co-research with this group of service users has been attracting scientific interest, yet it appears that due to stigmatising preconceptions, studies are still scarce. This review draws on participatory research with different populations (also included mental health, learning disabilities and geriatric populations) in order to develop a model of good practice. The EWGPWD was consulted during the review process in order to create an overview of potential benefits as well as challenges of peer research, and pragmatic considerations to be addressed. Although there is a need for more high-quality data, this paper challenges traditional views on the role of people with dementia in research, and provides a nuanced view not only the practical but also the ethical implications of this research method.