How the expert nursing role was used to facilitate the co-design of a patient interview study
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

How the expert nursing role was used to facilitate the co-design of a patient interview study

Julia Kittscha Clinical nurse consultant stomal therapy, Wollongong Hospital, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Valerie Wilson Professor of nursing research, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Greg Fairbrother Patient and family-centred care research nurse consultant, Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Vida Bliokas Associate professor school of psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the process and value of co-design in nursing research

  • To become familiar with intricacies and considerations when working alongside consumers as researchers

  • To appreciate the challenges of co-design from the expert nurse perspective

Background Co-design is a research method that seeks to engage service users in research. The approach fosters inclusivity and shared power by having researchers and research participants work together for some or all of a study.

Aim To describe the experience of co-designing a patient interview study from the perspective of an expert stoma nurse, using a case-study approach and reflexive methods.

Discussion Valuing expert patients’ experiences when conducting research about them enabled patients to be trained as participant researchers to co-design and undertake a patient interview study. The co-design process enabled the researcher to develop a greater recognition of the fact that experience of looking after people with stomas does not equate to expertise in knowing what it is like to have a stoma. This enriched her research experience and increased the authenticity of the study.

Conclusion Co-designing a study with service users creates challenges for nurse researchers. They must pay attention to relational changes, time, planning and organisation to ensure that they conduct their research rigorously and ethically, and safeguard the co-researchers and other participants from potential risks.

Implications for practice Co-designing research is critical for developing effective, patient-centred bodies of evidence. Nurse researchers can play a critical role but must be prepared to shift from directive to participatory methods to identify appropriate, patient-focused improvements.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2024.e1918

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Kittscha J, Wilson V, Fairbrother G et al (2024) How the expert nursing role was used to facilitate in the co-design of a patient interview study. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2024.e1918

Published online: 15 February 2024

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