Journal Article

Keeping Service User Involvement in Research Honest

Hugh McLaughlin

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 5, pages 1591-1608
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Keeping Service User Involvement in Research Honest

Show Summary Details


Service user research has increasingly become a significant development on the research landscape. This article seeks to critically examine this development and to identify ways in which service user research can retain its honesty and avoid the twin dangers of either becoming a tokenistic exercise or being seen as a panacea. In particular the article highlights issues concerning our conceptions of service users, recognising both the benefits and costs of service user involvement in research and begins to open up discussions on the contribution of service user research to knowledge development. The article also argues that we need to subject such research to the same standards of scrutiny and critique we would apply to other research approaches if service user research involvement in research is going to develop further.

Keywords: Service user; service user research; participatory research

Journal Article.  6982 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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