Finding the words to work together: developing a research design to explore risk and adult protection in co-produced research

Ian Brookes, Sylvia Archibald, Kerry McInnes, Beth Cross, Brigid Daniel, Fiona Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Accessible Summary Summary Although co-production of research with people who access support services is increasingly common, details about how people who access support services can take more of an assertive role in developing research proposals and method design remains sketchy. This article reflects on the development of a research project on adult protection practice in Scotland. We start by giving an overview of what the policy on adult protection is in Scotland, how we did our research on this topic and what people who may be affected told us they wanted. Then, we examine how our team talked through key words used in adult protection, namely, risk and abuse. Coming to a shared understanding of the words and the concerns around them meant thinking about how words are used in many ways, from decisions about which words were used, to how these words were part of relating experience in stories, to how these stories fit into the work we were doing and how all of this shaped how we present our research to those who make and carry out services. Through doing a literature review together, we have gained a better understanding of how words are used as tools. We conclude that those who make, carry out and research services should consider using a wider range of tools than just words to help people have a say in how work to help people is done.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative practice
  • empowerment issues
  • language issues
  • practical risks
  • research

Cite this