Social impact of participatory health research: collaborative non-linear processes of knowledge mobilization

Abma, Tineke and Cook, Tina and Harris, Janet and Kleba, Elizabeth and Ramgard, Margareta and Wallerstein, Nina (2017) Social impact of participatory health research: collaborative non-linear processes of knowledge mobilization. Educational Action Research, 25 (4). pp. 489-505.

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Social impact, defined as an effect on society, culture, quality of life, community services, or public policy beyond academia, is widely considered as a relevant requirement for scientific research, especially in the field of health care. Traditionally, in health research, the process of knowledge transfer is rather linear and one-sided and has not recognized and integrated the expertise of practitioners and those who use services. This can lead to discrimination or disqualification of knowledge and epistemic injustice. Epistemic injustice is a situation wherein certain kinds of knowers and knowledge are not taken seriously into account to define a situation. The purpose of our article is to explore how health researchers can achieve social impact for a wide audience, involving them in a non-linear process of joint learning on urgent problems recognized by the various stakeholders in public health. In participatory health research impact is not preordained by one group of stakeholders, but the result of a process of reflection and dialog with multiple stakeholders on what counts as valuable outcomes. This knowledge mobilization and winding pathway embarked upon during such research have the potential for impact along the way as opposed to the expectation that impact will occur merely at the end of a research project. We will discuss and illustrate the merits of taking a negotiated, discursive and flexible pathway in the area of community-based health promotion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Action Research on 25th May 2017, available online:
Keywords: Social impact; participatory health research; knowledge mobilisation; health promotion; knowledge transfer; action research
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Tina Cook
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 08:42
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 14:39

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