Involving service users in the development of the Support at Home: Interventions to Enhance Life in Dementia Carer Supporter Programme for family carers of people with dementia

Karen J Burnell, Amber Selwood, Theresa Sullivan, Georgina M Charlesworth, Fiona Poland, Martin Orrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Involving service users in research can be an effective way of improving the practicalities and acceptability of interventions for target end users. OBJECTIVES: The current paper presented two consensus methods, not commonly used in consultation with service users, to develop a peer support intervention for family carers of people with dementia (SHIELD Carer Supporter Programme). DESIGN: Study 1 was a modified Delphi process combined with a consensus conference to explore details of the intervention from the carer and volunteer perspective. Study 2 was an anonymous reader consultation to develop informed consent documents for the intervention trial. Median scores were used to measure and establish consensus. Open-ended responses were thematically analysed. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Study 1: twenty-five delegates participated (eight were current/former carers) in the first round Delphi questionnaire, with 21 attending the conference. Five completed the Round 2 questionnaire. Study 2: six family carers and 11 people with dementia took part in the consultation. RESULTS: Study 1: the role of the peer supporters was developed in terms of relational and practical aspects of the intervention. Study 2: changes were made to the documents, reflecting service user input, but the effectiveness of this less discursive type of service user involvement was unclear. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Study 1 methods allowed for service users to contribute significantly and meaningfully, but maybe limiting some design innovation. Study 2 took a more traditional and less collaborative approach. This has implications for balancing the needs of the research with meaningful service user involvement in research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number1
Early online date17 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • carer
  • dementia
  • consultation methods
  • Delphi methods
  • informed consent consultation
  • service user involvement

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