Oxford Brookes Business School

Research report on older people and participatory research

Friday, 01 July 2022

Older people and participatory research news

Researchers from several universities who had all been previously involved in research with older people came together with a common purpose, that of gaining insight to share with others into how research ‘with’ older people rather than research ‘on’ older people could be better implemented.

Participatory research, in which research participants are involved throughout the design, process and discussion of the findings of the research, was implemented to understand how older people were using digital technologies in their creative activities and the sharing of those activities. This project was keen to incorporate the lived experiences of the older people who became our co-researchers. This interdisciplinary project brings together researchers from the Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Arts and the Business disciplines from the UK, Ireland and Italy and included Oxford Brookes University, Maynooth University and The University of Turin to focus on Older people and participatory research: The role of digital technologies in creative curation as vehicles for enhancing wellbeing.

The research aimed to:

  • establish a network of community stakeholders, older people and researchers who are interested in creative participatory research with older people
  • identify the role of digital technologies in the creative curation by older people through participative research
  • create a good practice framework of creative participatory research with older people for community stakeholders and scholars.

A report was produced from the findings of a series of workshops which involved older participants from local communities, local community group leaders, academic researchers specialising in gerontology and organisational stakeholders from institutions focusing on the wellbeing of older people, from across the three countries involved. The key insights are provided as well as a good practice framework for creative participatory research with older people which is available for all to use. The team makes suggestions for creative curation through digital technologies and outline the implications of this research for those involved with older people.

Download the report here >>

The research team would like to thank all the participating academics, practitioners and most of all the older people across Ireland, Italy and England who participated so fully in this research.

With special thanks to AgeUk Oxfordshire, Unitre, ActionAge and Oxford over 50s.

For further information about this or related projects contact: