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Working in partnership with communities to improve health and research outcomes. Comparisons and commonalities between the UK and South Africa

Wilson, Patricia M., Mavhandu-Mudzusi, Azwihangwisi Helen (2019) Working in partnership with communities to improve health and research outcomes. Comparisons and commonalities between the UK and South Africa. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 20 . Article Number e129. ISSN 1463-4236. (doi:10.1017/S1463423619000677) (KAR id:76771)

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Community and public participation and involvement is an underpinning principle of primary healthcare, an essential component of a social justice orientated approach to healthcare, and a vehicle to improving health outcomes for patients, public and communities. However, influenced by history and context, there are intrinsic issues surrounding power imbalance and other barriers to partnerships between communities, public, policy makers and researchers. It is important to acknowledge these issues, and through doing so share experiences and learn from those working within very different settings. In South Africa, community participation is seen as a route to decolonisation. It is also integral to the core functions of South African Higher Education Institutes, alongside teaching and research. In the UK there has also been a history of participation and involvement as part of a social rights movement, but notably public involvement has become embedded in publicly funded health research as a policy imperative. In this paper we draw on our respective programmes of work in public and community participation and involvement. These include a South African community engagement project to reduce teenage pregnancy and HIV infection working through a partnership between teachers, students and university academics, and a national evaluation in England of public involvement in applied health research. We begin by highlighting the lack of clarity and terms used interchangeably to describe participation, engagement and involvement. Frameworks for partnership working with relevance to South Africa and the UK are then analysed, suggesting key themes of relationships, working together, and evaluation and monitoring. The South African project, and examples of public involvement in English primary and community care research are examined through these themes. We conclude the paper by mapping out common enablers and barriers to partnership working within these very different contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S1463423619000677
Uncontrolled keywords: Patient and public involvement, Community engagement, Community participation, Community health, Primary care research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Meg Dampier
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 09:13 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 14:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wilson, Patricia M.:
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