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BACKGROUND: While the importance of involving older people in research is increasingly acknowledged, quantitative studies exploring the perspectives of larger samples of older people who take an active role in research on ageing and health are scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the awareness of and attitudes towards public involvement in research on ageing and health among older people in Sweden.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data derived from a survey (N = 881) of people aged 60 years or older in Sweden. Demographics, self-rated health, and attitudes were analysed using descriptive statistics. Awareness of and previous active involvement in research were analysed using chi-square tests and Mann Whitney tests. Factors associated with willingness to be actively involved in research were determined by logistic regressions.
RESULTS: Of the 26% who responded (N = 881), 39% (n = 343) were aware that they could be actively involved in research. Awareness and previous active involvement in research were significantly associated with a higher level of education. Public involvement was believed to enhance research communication and enable valuable contributions related to ageing. The proportion of respondents who were willing to be actively involved in research was significantly higher for respondents with previous experience and a higher level of education.
CONCLUSIONS: Engaging older people in Sweden in research targeting active involvement in research presents a challenge. The study shows an over-representation of people with higher education, who tend to be more aware, have previous experience, and are more willing to be involved in research with public involvement. This implies a risk that groups with lower education are not represented, and that knowledge co-produced with mostly highly educated groups will lead to a biased picture. Further studies are needed to understand how an increased awareness of research and willingness to participate can be achieved. IRRID: RR2-10.2196/17759.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
- Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
- CASE - Centre for Ageing and Supportive Environments
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Iwarsson, S., Edberg, A., Dahlin-Ivanoff, S., Goodwin, J., Haak, M., Hanson, E., Jonsson, O., Jönson, H., Lamura, G., Lood, Q., Magnusson, L., Schmidt, S., Slaug, B., Westergren, A., Frögren, J., Etzerodt Laustsen, C., Kylén, M., Hultqvist, S., Barenfeld, E., Berge, I., Andersson, S. & Malm, C.
2017/01/01 → 2022/12/31