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Approaches to co-production of research in care homes: a scoping review

Bowles, F. V.; Logan, P. A.; Timmons, S.; Robinson, K. R.

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F. V. Bowles

Professor of Rehabilitation Research

Professor of Health Services Management

K. R. Robinson


Background: Using the technique of co-production to develop research is considered good practice. Co-production involves the public, practitioners and academics working together as equals throughout a research project. Co-production may help develop alternative ways of delivering care for older adults that are acceptable to those who live and work in care homes. However, guidance about applying co-production approaches in this context is lacking. This scoping review aims to map co-production approaches used in care homes for older adults in previous research to support the inclusion of residents and care staff as equal collaborators in future studies. Methods: A scoping review was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review methodology. Seven electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed primary studies using co-production approaches in care home settings for older adults. Studies were independently screened against eligibility criteria by two reviewers. Citation searching was completed. Data relating to study characteristics, co-production approaches used, including any barriers and facilitators, was charted by one reviewer and checked by another. Data was summarised using tables and diagrams with an accompanying narrative description. A collaborator group of care home and health service representatives were involved in the interpretation of the findings from their perspectives. Results: 19 studies were selected for inclusion. A diverse range of approaches to co-production and engaging key stakeholders in care home settings were identified. 11 studies reported barriers and 13 reported facilitators affecting the co-production process. Barriers and facilitators to building relationships and achieving inclusive, equitable and reciprocal co-production were identified in alignment with the five NIHR principles. Practical considerations were also identified as potential barriers and facilitators. Conclusion: The components of co-production approaches, barriers and facilitators identified should inform the design of future research using co-production approaches in care homes. Future studies should be explicit in reporting what is meant by co-production, the methods used to support co-production, and steps taken to enact the principles of co-production. Sharing of key learning is required to support this field to develop. Evaluation of co-production approaches, including participants’ experiences of taking part in co-production processes, are areas for future research in care home settings.


Bowles, F. V., Logan, P. A., Timmons, S., & Robinson, K. R. (2022). Approaches to co-production of research in care homes: a scoping review. Research Involvement and Engagement, 8(1), Article 74.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 23, 2022
Publication Date Dec 23, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 24, 2023
Journal Research Involvement and Engagement
Electronic ISSN 2056-7529
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Article Number 74
Public URL
Publisher URL


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