Consumer Engagement

About the Consumer Engagement Research Area Team
Resources to support consumer engagement in research

About us

The Consumer Engagement Research Area Team is now led by University of South Australia, School of Health Sciences and iCAHE staff member, Dr Angela Berndt following foundational development by Debra Kay. The consumer engagement team focusses on evidence-informed consumer engagement in health research, governance, policy, services and care.  The group seeks to provide collegiate support and enhance opportunities for active and aspiring researchers, who share an interest in this area, and to inform iCAHE’s consumer engagement priority activities.

In 2016 the team is working with the iCAHE research area leads to explore how a consumer engagement focus can underpin or be successfully integrated into research conducted within each teams focus.  

The work of the group is guided by principles developed by peak health consumer groups, such as South Australia’s Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia (HCASA) (  We seek to collaborate to promote consumer engagement research, education, information dissemination, advocacy and partnerships. One outcome from partnership with the HCASA is the Professional Certificate in Consumer Engagement that was successfully launched in 2015 via iCAHE. The Professional Certificate is currently being reviewed for wider applicability and scope within the School of Health Sciences UniSA.

We seek to operate in trans-disciplinary health and research teams and with community, clinical and corporate partners to ensure our work benefits the community and supports national policy including the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 2: Partnering with consumers. This YouTube video, No more throw away people, explains the co-production imperative (also called partnering with consumers) really well. 

iCAHE has recently undertaken a number of consumer engagement activities. These include systematic reviews related to consumer-centred care (pdf 1.7MB) and health literacy (pdf 1.57MB) for the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, and a model of consumer and community engagement for the SA Health Office for the Ageing.


Members of the group are publishing in this area: 

Lizarondo L, Kennedy K, Kay D. 2016 Development of a Consumer Engagement Framework. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management. 11(1):44-49. Link to full text

Grimmer K, Kay D, Foot J, Pastakia K.2015  Consumer views about aging-in-place. Clinical interventions in aging. 2015(10):1803-1811.

Luker J, Lynch E, Bernhardsson S, Bennett L, Bernhardt J. 2015.  Stoke survivors’ experiences of physical rehabilitation: a systematic review of the qualitative studies. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

SA Health Office for the Ageing Development and Validation of a Consumer Engagement Framework - Consumer Summary (pdf 670kb)

SA Health Office for the Ageing Development and Validation of a Consumer Engagement Framework - Full Report (pdf 914kb)

The International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (2014) Rapid review of literature for consumer centred care in people with diabetes. A Technical Report prepared for the Australian Diabetes Educators Association. (html)

The International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (2014) Rapid review of literaturefor health literacy in people with diabetes. Technical Report. Prepared for theAustralian Diabetes Educators Association. (html)


Resources to support consumer engagement in research 

In order to support and enhance our research, iCAHE has scoped some resources that can be used to determine when, at what level, with what approach and how to best implement practices and principles of consumer engagement.  This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, the resources collated here may be utilised to reflect upon and stimulate exploration of opportunities for consumer engagement, public and patient involvement and co-design and so consider and embed the associated opportunities and benefits for research outputs and impact. 

GRIPP Checklist (Staniszewska, Brett & Mockford 2011) (pdf 191kb)

The Guidance for Reporting Involvement of Patient and Public (PPI) checklist aims to enhance the consistency and quality of PPI reporting in research outputs and so improve the evidence base.

Consumer and Community Engagement Framework (Queensland Govt & Health Consumers Queensland, 2012) (pdf 512kb)

Developed in collaboration, this framework was developed to guide the Local Health and Hospital Networks (LHHNs) and build capacity for LHHNs to deliver improved services via inclusion of consumers in planning, designing, delivering and evaluating health outcomes (p5).  This framework is a helpful introduction to core principles, domains, mechanisms and levels of engagement. 

INVOLVE (2012) Briefing notes for researchers: involving the public in NHS, public health and social care research. INVOLVE Eastleigh. (pdf 391kb)

This publication was developed to provide an introduction to those new to public involvement in research and is part of larger online resource that includes access to supplements, examples and templates (p2).  The briefing notes provide guidance on what, why, how, who and ways to proceed in PPI. 

Consumer and Community Engagement: a review of the literature (Foroushani, Travaglia, Eikli & Braithwaite 2012)

This review of the literature provides a helpful baseline understanding of key terms, definitions and related concepts along the continuum of community engagement. Consumer and community involvement in research is discussed (Grey literature review). 

A Systematic Review of the Impact of Patient and Public Involvement on Service Users, Researchers and Communities (Brett, Staniszewska, Mockford et al 2014) (pdf 266kb)

This peer reviewed systematic review provides analysis  of the beneficial and challenging impacts of PPI and highlight the importance of optimising the context and process of involvement (p387). 

An innovation toolkit: increasing the role and value of patient and public involvement in the dissemination of research findings (McNichol & Grimshaw 2014) (pdf 677kb)

This toolkit provides guidance, strategies and highlights how planning for PPI and dissemination at each stage of the research cycle facilitates diffusion of findings (p1). 

Reducing the Gap between Research, Policy and Practice Initiative summary report (2015) (pdf 552kb).

This document provides a précis of a group consensus on situational context, opportunities and gaps in the PPI / consumer engagement and research endeavours and outcomes; a number of suggested ideas for moving forward are listed on p.5.  

Lizarondo L, Kennedy K, Kay D. 2016 Development of a Consumer Engagement Framework. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management. 11(1):44-49. Link to full text

This peer reviewed publication discusses the development of a Consumer Engagement Model to plan for effective baby boomer engagement to inform policy makers in the healthcare system. This is the first stage of that process. 


Current iCAHE members of this group are: 

Angela Berndt
Shylie Mackintosh
Mandy Stanley
Liz Lynch
Jan Foot
Julie Luker
Julie Walters
Louise Wiles
Kate Kennedy
Hugh Stewart
Olivia Hill
Steve Milanese
Alvin Atlas
Alison Bell
Rose Boucaut
Kobie Boshoff
Maureen McEvoy


For further information on the Consumer Engagement Research Team, contact Angela Berndt:


phone: 8302 2806


Areas of study and research

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