Uncovering the values that motivate people in relation to payments for involvement in research

Date05 March 2014
Publication Date05 March 2014
AuthorTeresa Roca,Peter Bates
SubjectHealth & social care,Mental health,Social inclusion
Uncovering the values that motivate
people in relation to payments for
involvement in research
Teresa Roca and Peter Bates
Dr Teresa Roca is a Senior
Lecturer in Organisation and
Human Resources
Management, based at
Newcastle Business School,
Northumbria University,
Newcastle, UK.
Peter Bates is a Facilitator for
Public Leadership, based at
Institute of Mental Health,
University of Nottingham,
Nottingham, UK.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to response to the 2013 health and welfare reform in
the UK by looking specifically at how health research stakeholders in the East Midlands perceive
reimbursements for their participation in research.
Design/methodology/approach – In keeping with the government research agenda, a survey was
distributed to patient and public involvement in research volunteers and other stakeholders in the
East Midlands region. In total, 251 useful returns were statistically analysed using descriptive and
frequency based statistics and factor analysis. Principal Component Analysis and Varimax Rotation
with Kaiser Normalisation were used. This was supplemented by thematic analysis of the content of open
Findings – 29 per cent of respondents reported experience with payments and/or reimbursement of
expenses for participation in research. Three main factors emerged from the exploratory factor analysis
indicative of the values that underpin participants motivation to participate in research. These were as an
opportunity for self-development,volunteering, and work and market forces. This revealed that local
organisations were somewhat out of step with stakeholders motivations.
Research limitations/implications – It is a small study, and therefore has limited power to predict.
Wider societal factors were not taken into account and may also impingeon the responses given, especially
if respondents are dependent on welfare benefits and vulnerable to shifting community attitudes.
Practical implications – This study has got practical implications for policy makers, ethics committees,
agencies promoting patient and public involvement, and research organisations. It should influence the
design of health research, allow systems to be aligned with individual motivation, maximise recruitment to
research and enhance the validity of research findings.
Social implications – Genuine coproduction will enhance the quality of health and social care research,
and will be strengthened by payment systems that respond the ethical position of participants rather than
simply organise around welfare benefit regulations. This study also has the potential to influence guidance
from major funders of health research.
Originality/value – This study offers an unique contribution into a neglected, complex yet significant area
of research practice.
Keywords Research, Involvement, Reimbursements
Paper type Research paper
In the UK, more than £8 billion a year is invested in health research and much of this work
relies on members of the public to come forward and volunteer to be research participants
or advisers. Participants allow researchers to test drugs and other interventions on them,
measure their reactions and report the findings; while advisers comment on documents and
attend steering group meetings to share their views about the direction of research and its
methods. In recognition of this contribution, both participants and advisers sometimes receive
some money or gifts such as a shopping voucher, but this is highly contentious for a wide range
of reasons.
This work was funded by the
National Institute for Health
Research Collaboration for
Leadership in Applied Health
Research and Care for
Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and
Lincolnshire (NIHR CLAHRC NDL).
The views expressed in this
abstract are those of the authors
and not necessarily those of the
NHS, the NIHR or the Department
of Health.
DOI 10.1108/MHSI-02-2014-0005 VOL. 18 NO. 1 2014, pp. 17-20, CEmerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2042-8308

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