There are both advantages and challenges in conducting research with vulnerable or marginalised populations – people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, children and young people, for example – and it is critical to identify ways of working with these participant groups that promote and enhance their active and meaningful participation. This means ensuring that the methods used in research are genuinely participatory and that are flexible and designed with the needs of participants in mind. It is therefore important that researchers (and practitioners) work with recognised and tried and tested models of participation that advance the rights and needs of vulnerable participants and, more broadly, the PR field. This paper considers the advantages and challenges in conducting participatory research (PR) with vulnerable or marginalised populations, and discusses the utility of a PR model that has been designed specifically for research with participant groups who may be (and, in the past, often have been) overlooked in studies that use conventional methods.
Participatory Research – Participatory Model – Principles of participation