Co-production in substance use research



Cairns J & Nicholls J (2018) Co-production in substance use research. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 18 (1), pp. 6-16.

Typically, social science research is concerned with generating robust and replicable evidence, using methods that assume researchers maintain critical distance from the subject matter. As such, social enquiry aspires to the principles of dispassionate observation at the heart of the scientific method. By contrast, critical social science has long argued for recognition of the limitations of research objectivity; pointing out that social science research is always situated in social contexts and interpreted through the lens of personal or ideological positions. Similarly, in recent decades health research has moved from a “top-down” model of knowledge generation to an approach that places an increasing focus on the critical value of public and patient experience in developing interventions and treatments[1]. This reflects the understanding that where a treatment is the intended outcome of research, it is critical that those to whom the treatment is targeted be consulted – both for practical and ethical reasons. Not only do patients have the right to be part of research aimed at their wellbeing, but there is the increasing recognition that patient involvement brings insights and experiences that make it more likely interventions will have the intended effect.

Psychiatry and Mental health; Clinical Psychology; Medicine (miscellaneous)

Drugs and Alcohol Today: Volume 18, Issue 1

FundersAlcohol Research UK
Publication date31/12/2018
Publication date online05/03/2018
Date accepted by journal05/03/2018

People (1)


Dr James Nicholls
Dr James Nicholls

Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Health Sciences Stirling