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Beware Zombies and Unicorns: Toward Critical Patient and Public Involvement in Health Research in a Neoliberal Context

Madden, M and Speed, E (2017) 'Beware Zombies and Unicorns: Toward Critical Patient and Public Involvement in Health Research in a Neoliberal Context.' Frontiers in Sociology, 2. ISSN 2297-7775

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Patient and public involvement (PPI) in UK National Health Service (NHS) research has become an imperative in policy and practice. However, lack of clarity on what PPI is (or might be) has given rise to a poorly monitored, complex field of activity, variously framed by the expectations of policy makers, funders, host organizations, researchers, health professionals, individual recruits, volunteers, activists, and third sector organizations. The normative shift toward PPI has taken place within a neoliberal policy context, the implications of which needs to be explicitly considered, particularly after the Brexit referendum which has left policy makers and researchers wondering how to better appeal to a distrustful public subjected to “post-truth” and “dog whistle” politics. This commentary examines the prospects for a more critical approach to PPI which addresses context, is evidence-informed and mindful of persistent inequalities in health outcomes, at a time when models of PPI in NHS health research tend to be conceptually vague, derived from limited clinical and managerial settings, and centered on a construction of the abstract, rational, compliant, and self-managing patient or layperson.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: patient and public involvement; neoliberalism; health inequalities; evidence-informed health care
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 10:30
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:53

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