Co-production & consumer co-investigators in Allied Health research – Initial explorations in Gold Coast Health

Dr Kelly Weir1,2, Dr  Shelley  Roberts1,2, Mrs Kylie Gill2, Mrs Zara Howard2,3, Mrs Heidi Townsend4, Mrs Jane  Standen4, Mrs Michelle Drienne4, Professor Sharon Mickan1,2

1Menzies Health Institute Qld & Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University , Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia, 2Allied Health Clinical Governance, Education & Research, Gold Coast Health, Southport, Australia, 3Physiotherapy Department, Gold Coast Health, Southport, Australia, 4Consumer Coinvestigator, Gold Coast Health, Southport, Australia

Background/Objectives: Coproduction in research is the inclusion of patient and public involvement to provide a unique ‘insider perspective’ across the research cycle. This aids generation of different ideas and solutions, and value-adds to the health researcher and health service perspectives. Key factors for successful coproduction include early involvement of consumer research partners in the pre-development stage including scientific design, ethics and grant applications; early identification of team strengths/expertise; regular team communication; a flexible and pragmatic approach to research design; shared decision making, responsibility and power sharing; and providing support to each other. Thus, research coproduction may produce higher quality research with greater relevance to patients, potentially increasing effectiveness of interventions, evidence uptake and reducing research wastage. This presentation explores coproduction and the use of consumer coinvestigators in allied health research, and presents initial experiences of coproduction at Gold Coast Health.

Methods: A comprehensive scoping review investigating research coproduction and use of consumer coinvestigators in allied health research in hospital and healthcare settings was undertaken. Variables of interest included coproduction across phases of the research cycle (concept development to publication/dissemination), patient populations, allied health professions, perceived impact on clinical/patient outcomes and research team perspectives of coproduction.

Results: Findings of the scoping review and two case studies will be presented. The first case study describes participation of a consumer co-investigator in a research team investigating the development and implementation of a multi-component exercise and dietary intervention for women who are overweight/obese, and experiencing urinary incontinence. The second case study explores coproduction in research exploring carer and staff perceptions of palliative care services to children within Gold Coast Health.

Conclusion: Consumer coinvestigators and coproduction widens research team perspectives and enhances relevance of allied health research to patient care.


Dr Kelly Weir is a Conjoint Principal Research Fellow (Allied Health) at Griffith University & Gold Coast Health, Queensland Australia. She is a certified practicing speech pathologist with over 29 years clinical experience, predominantly in tertiary state-wide paediatric and adult hospitals. Kelly researches in the area of paediatric dysphagia, management of medically fragile infants and children in intensive care and acute care settings; and building research capacity in allied health professionals at Gold Coast Health. Kelly lectures at Griffith University, is an international speaker and has over 56 peer reviewed journal publications.

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