Report ‘Including family carers: adding value and impact to research’

Different perspectives can ‘broaden the lens’ of studies, say workshop participants

Carers have a “pivotal” role to play in the effectiveness of future health and social care-related research, a new report on a seminar hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has concluded.

The event, which brought together carers and expert representatives from a range of charities and public-sector organisations, was convened to explore ways of adding value and impact to research through the wider inclusion of family carers.

It was funded by the Department of Health and the NIHR SSCR, and organised by members of the Independent Advisory Group on Carers (IAGC) and the NIHR SSCR.

Discussion among delegates highlighted a number of key ways in which carers’ perspectives could enrich research by “broadening the lens” and, in some circumstances, advocating for the people they care for.

Participants found that carers could contribute valuably towards ensuring the real-world relevance of studies, could help to direct lines of enquiry so that the right questions get asked, and could assist with planning effective data collection in order to fit around people’s lives. Members of the discussion groups also felt that involving carers in research could help to send an important public policy and societal message about the value of carers.

Carers ‘pivotal’ to future of health and social care-related research, seminar finds

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