What is Participatory Health Research?

Participatory Health Research (PHR) aims at the highest level of participation possible during the whole research process of the people whose life or work are in the center of the research. In this context participation means not only to participate but to partake (Teilnahme und Teilhabe) at the process. Participation comprises the whole research process from laying down the research question and research goal to the development of the research design, choosing methods of data collection and data analysis, implementation and dissemination of the results.

This core characteristic of PHR differentiates it from other types of health research. It is not research about, but with people in order to gain knowledge which can contribute to enhance their living or working conditions. It’s not about generating abstract data which would require distance to those under research. But it is about gaining that knowledge of the life and work of people which they think is important to be able to make statements on how to improve health conditions of the population.

The research process is implemented among all participants, who are i.a. researchers, professionals from the health, social, or educational sector, decision makers as well as committed people from civil society.

The links below lead you to more information on PHR:

International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (ICPHR) (2013) Position Paper 1: What is Participatory Health Research? Version: May 2013. Berlin: International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research. http://www.icphr.org/en/position-papers

Michael T. Wright, G. Nöcker, S. Pawils, U. Walter: Partizipative Gesundheitsforschung – ein neuer Ansatz für die Präventionsforschung. (in German)

Netzwerk Partizipative Gesundheitsforschung - www.partnet-gesundheit.de. (in German)