The difference between consumer engagement, participation and involvement
The terms engagement, participation and involvement are three distinct terms with different meanings. Involvement is consumers and community working alongside health professionals and researchers, in partnership, to shape what research or project is done, how it is carried out and how results are shared and applied in practice. Participation is where patients and consumers are participants in a project and data is being actively collected from them. Engagement involves the sharing of the findings and outcomes of a project.
The paper below by Doria et al. (2018) helps to distinguish between the different activities.
In this video, Dr Magdalena Skrybant, explains the difference between consumer involvement, engagement and participation.
Focus groups and interviews involve collecting data from the person, and therefore this is ‘participation’.
Partnering with patients, consumers and community members to design and deliver research is involvement.
Doria et al. (2018), Research Involvement and Engagement, Sharpening the focus: differentiating between focus groups for patient engagement vs. qualitative research