DICEmethods.org | Dissemination, Implementation, Communication, and Engagement
A guide for health researchers
In April and May of 2017, researchers from the D2V Engagement Core held interviews about stakeholder engagement with D2V’s pilot project awardees. (D2V funds 1-year grants for researchers who have projects that contribute directly to our program’s mission to bridge the disciplines of data science and health outcomes research.) During these interviews with pilot project awardees, we found that stakeholder-engagement—as defined on our "Defining Stakeholder Engagement" page (link here)—is not something researchers are necessarily comfortable with, budget for, or know how to do.
Based on this information, our group set out to create an online toolkit to help healthcare researchers identify and select methods of engagement based on the constraints and/or criteria of their studies and their identified stakeholders to promote equity in research.
In order to approach this as a user-centered designed toolkit, the D2V Engagement Core interviewed principal investigators interested but inexperienced in stakeholder engagement research.
We then determined the following components important to choosing a method of engagement for a research topic:
We then adapted the NIH-style grant review method to rigorously compile, review, and categorize engagement methods and tools based on their strengths and weaknesses regarding consistency with the definition of engagement, generalizability for multiple purposes of engagement, resource intensity, and the strength of the evidence base.
After completing the review sessions to categorize engagement methods, a distinction was made between engagement approaches, methods, and tools. More on the differences between approaches, methods, and tools can be found here
A sample of 21 researchers was surveyed regarding the sorts of features they would like to see in our toolkit. Respondents overwhelming reported that when determining what stakeholder engagement method to use for their research, the most important domain is purpose of engagement. Based on this insight, we decided that our selection tool would first ask users about the purpose of their engagement. We then developed an organizing framework for the website, which can be seen on the following page.
This organizing framework was used to create a prototype of the website, which was used in two rounds of user-testing:
A user-testing method in which users engage with the interface in the context of their own environment. Users are first asked a set of semi-structured interview questions, and are then observed and questioned while they engage with the interface. This method is helpful for identifying what works and doesn’t work, improving processes, and learning about what is important to users.
A user-testing method in which users are asked to verbalize their thoughts, feelings, and opinions as they perform predetermined tasks. This method provides an understanding of how the user approaches the interface and what considerations the user keeps in mind when using the interface. Often, the terminology the user uses to express and idea or function can be incorporated into the product design. This method is helpful for understanding users' expectations and identifying what aspects of the interface are confusing.
The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
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