Involving older people in research: Practical considerations when using the authenticity criteria in constructivist inquiry

Christine Brown Wilson, Philip Clissett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aim. The purpose of this paper is to identify practical suggestions that could enable other researchers to consider how quality may be evidenced using constructivist principles including the perspectives of older people and their caregivers. Background. Constructivism suggests that reality is part of a social construction, which holds different meanings for each person, in which people are active agents, making autonomous decisions. This approach to research has been identified as suitable for health and social care professionals because these underpinning principles reflect the values of these professions, facilitating the involvement of users and carers. The authenticity criteria have been developed to reflect these philosophical principles but have been criticized for their inaccessible language. To incorporate user and carer perspectives, the criteria have been revised into a more accessible model matrix known as the AldreVast Sjuharad criteria. Discussion. This paper reports on two constructivist studies that explored relationships between older people, families and staff in different settings - the community and care homes. Examples from both settings demonstrate how the perspectives of users and carers were incorporated throughout the research process. Following the AldreVast Sjuharad model matrix, practical guidance is provided on how the quality of constructivist research may be implemented in nursing research. Conclusions. The different settings in this paper influenced how the AldreVast Sjuharad model matrix was applied. Further work is needed in exploring how the perspective of users and carers may be incorporated into the quality process of constructivist research. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)677-686
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


    • Constructivism
    • Older people
    • Users and carers
    • Users involvement in research


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