The Concept of Researcher Practitioner Engagement in Healthcare Research

Nikki Daniels, Patricia Mackin (now Gillen), K. Casson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: Meaningful interaction between academic researchers and practitioners during knowledge production is claimed to enhance research use and impact (Bowen & Graham, 2013; McCormack, 2011). On scoping literature where academic researchers reported engaging frontline practitioners such as nurses, midwives and therapists in study design and conduct, examples related mostly to one aspect of the research process, theoretical guidance was limited and evidence to support claims of impact sparse. Aim: To develop the concept of ‘researcher practitioner engagement’ in healthcare research and produce a conceptual model. Methods: Analysis of related definitions and published incidences of researcher practitioner engagement (theoretical stage) combined with the experiences of academic researchers (n=17) and practitioners (n=8) (fieldwork stage) identified the attributes, antecedents and consequences of this concept. Data were collected via online focus groups using audiovisual technology and thematically analysed. Results: Participants were unanimous that an explicit concept is necessary to develop authentic practitioner and academic researcher engagement in healthcare research. Valuing clinical knowledge of practitioners from formative stages of a study and ensuring practitioners’ perspectives are reflected in problem solving and decision making in relevant research activities form the essence of this concept. However, it was clear that an imbalance of power which largely rests with academic researchers is often a challenge to realising this concept in practice. Discussion and conclusion: The derived conceptual model will be presented with detailed discussion around the attributes, antecedents and consequences which inform its content. Factors reported to strengthen or threaten the feasibility of this concept will be discussed and illustrative cases presented. Use of this model may positively influence researcher and practitioner engagement in healthcare research; use of its consistent terminology and evaluation of outcomes can contribute to an evidence base to advance this concept further and ultimately improve research use and impact in practice. References: Bowen, S.J. and Graham, I.D. (2013) From knowledge translation to engaged scholarship: Promoting research relevance and utilization. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94(1 SUPPL). McCormack, B., 2011. Engaged scholarship and research impact: Integrating the doing and using of research in practice. Journal of Research in Nursing, 16(2), 111-127. Schwartz-Barcott D. and Kim H. (2000) An Expansion and Elaboration of the Hybrid Model of Concept Development Chapter 9 IN Rodgers B. & Knafl K. (2000) Concept Development in Nursing: Foundations, Techniques and Applications 2nd ed WB Saunders Philadelphia
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Sept 2019
EventRoyal College of Nursing: 2019 International Research Conference - Sheffield
Duration: 3 Sept 20195 Sept 2019


ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing: 2019 International Research Conference


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