Involvement in research helped by group analysis of data

Flipchart men

This study set out to look at how an inclusive approach to data analysis in a  research project with a group of self advocates increased the group’s capacity for self advocacy.

The researchers presented numerical data in three visual formats for analysis, which were analysed and interpreted by 17 members of a People First group using the modified focus group approach developed by the researchers.

The study found that all the group members were able to participate in data analysis, but not all of them participated in data interpretation.

They found that members’ interpretations suggested an increased sense of empowerment in the group. Their increased capacity to run a meeting and involvement in the participatory action research cycle also heightened their awareness of action and reflection.

The authors conclude that the strategies they used to present data visually and to work with the group to carry out the analysis fostered an inclusive process. The team were also able to ensure that the People First members were familiar with the data collection tools used which ensured a deeper understanding of, and involvement in, the project.

Following Through to the End: The Use of Inclusive Strategies to Analyse and Interpret Data in Participatory Action Research with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Kramer, J et al, in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24: 263–273

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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