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“What Do You Need? What Are You Experiencing?” Relationship Building and Power Dynamics in Participatory Research Projects: Critical Self-Reflections of Researchers


Arnold, Doris; Glässel, Andrea; Böttger, Tabea; Sarma, Navina; Bethmann, Andreas; Narimani, Petra (2022). “What Do You Need? What Are You Experiencing?” Relationship Building and Power Dynamics in Participatory Research Projects: Critical Self-Reflections of Researchers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(15):9336.

Abstract

Participatory approaches create opportunities for cooperation, building relationships, gaining knowledge, rethinking, and eventually changing power structures. From an international perspective, the article looks at the historical development of different participatory approaches in which building relationships and managing the balance of power between persons engaged in participatory research are central. The authors present and critically reflect on four research projects to show how they understood and implemented participatory research in different ways and what they have learned from their respective experiences. The “PaSuMi” project worked in the context of addiction prevention with migrants and provides a glimpse into different contexts of participatory research. The initiator of the study “Back into life—with a power wheelchair” works with post-stroke individuals who use the assistive device in community mobility and reflects on the shifting and intertwining roles of participants. In the research project “Workshops for implementation of expanded community nursing”, new professional roles for nurses in community nursing were developed; here limitations to participation and ways to deal with them are illustrated. Finally, the “DIPEx” project deals with challenges of enabling participation of persons with multiple sclerosis via narrative interviews on the experience of health and illness. All examples underline the necessity of a permanent reflection on relationships and power dynamics in participatory research processes.

Abstract

Participatory approaches create opportunities for cooperation, building relationships, gaining knowledge, rethinking, and eventually changing power structures. From an international perspective, the article looks at the historical development of different participatory approaches in which building relationships and managing the balance of power between persons engaged in participatory research are central. The authors present and critically reflect on four research projects to show how they understood and implemented participatory research in different ways and what they have learned from their respective experiences. The “PaSuMi” project worked in the context of addiction prevention with migrants and provides a glimpse into different contexts of participatory research. The initiator of the study “Back into life—with a power wheelchair” works with post-stroke individuals who use the assistive device in community mobility and reflects on the shifting and intertwining roles of participants. In the research project “Workshops for implementation of expanded community nursing”, new professional roles for nurses in community nursing were developed; here limitations to participation and ways to deal with them are illustrated. Finally, the “DIPEx” project deals with challenges of enabling participation of persons with multiple sclerosis via narrative interviews on the experience of health and illness. All examples underline the necessity of a permanent reflection on relationships and power dynamics in participatory research processes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Pollution
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Language:English
Date:30 July 2022
Deposited On:22 Jun 2023 10:57
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 03:44
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1660-4601
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159336
PubMed ID:35954692
Other Identification Number:PMCID: PMC9368275
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)