Do Research–Practice Partnerships Offer a Promising Approach to Producing Research that Improves Social Care Practice and Outcomes?

Annette Boaz*, Bev Fitzsimons, Becki Meakin, Stuart Muirhead, Claire Williams, Melanie Weatherley, Martin Knapp, Lisa Smith, Joe Langley, Hannah Kendrick, Juliette Malley, Annette Bauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are many pressing questions about how to deliver adult social care services. Where research evidence exists to address these questions, there is often limited use by social care commissioners, providers and the workforce. Sometimes this is attributed to the lack of perceived relevance and accessibility of the research itself, at other times it is considered to be a matter of individual and organisational capacity. As things stand, there is a gap between social care research and practice. Improving interaction between different stakeholders in the research process is a contemporary mechanism for promoting the production of research that is useful, usable and used. This paper describes one collaborative approach called research-practice partnerships (RPPs). These partnerships share the goal of benefit for all partners and are supported by a growing international evidence base. This paper summarises some of the key literature from different countries and contexts where the approach has been tried. It highlights the main features of RPPs, introduces a project setting up three new partnerships in the care home sector in England and highlights aspects of the theory of change that will guide the evaluation of the partnerships. In doing so, the paper introduces a promising collaborative approach to a social care audience and considers whether RPPs have the potential to achieve meaningful and impactful research in social care contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Long-Term Care
Volume2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • adult social care
  • care homes
  • knowledge production
  • research utilization
  • research-practice partnerships

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