Codesigning simulations and analyzing the process to ascertain principles of authentic and meaningful research engagement in childhood disability research Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Background Including youth with disabilities and their families as partners in childhood disability research is imperative but can be challenging to do in an authentic and meaningful way. Simulation allows individuals to learn in a controlled environment and provides an opportunity to try new approaches. The objectives of the research study were to (1) codesign a suite of simulations and facilitation resources and understand how stakeholders engaged in the codesign process; and (2) describe the principles of authentic and meaningful research engagement as identified by stakeholders. Methods Interdisciplinary stakeholder groups, including youth with disabilities, parents, researchers, and trainees, codesigned simulation training videos by developing shared storylines about challenges with research engagement that were then performed and digitally recorded with standardized patient actors. Two forms of data were collected: (1) observations via field notes and video recordings were analyzed to understand the codesign process; and (2) interviews were analyzed to understand principles of authentic and meaningful engagement. Results Four simulation training videos were developed, and topics included: (1) forming a project team; (2) identifying project objectives and priorities; (3) reviewing results; and (4) navigating concerns about knowledge translation. Thirteen participants participated in the simulation codesign; nine of whom consented to be observed in the codesign process and seven who completed follow up interviews. We identified two themes about authentic and meaningful engagement in research: (1) whether the invitation to engage on a project was authentic and meaningful or was extended to ‘tick a box’; and (2) whether there were authentic and meaningful opportunities to contribute (e.g., valued contributions aligned with people’s lived experience, skills, and interests) or if they only served as a ‘rubber stamp’. Communication and expectations tied the ‘tick box’ and ‘rubber stamp’ themes together and underlie whether engagement was authentic and meaningful. Conclusions For research engagement to be authentic and meaningful, researchers and families need to set clear expectations, build rapport, have tangible supports, use clear communication, and build time and space to work together. Future work will explore the utility of the simulations and whether they improve knowledge and attitudes about authentic and meaningful engagement in research.

publication date

  • November 9, 2022