Involving the Public in Data Linkage Research

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Mhairi Aitken
Annette Braunack-Mayer
Felicity Flack
Kimberlyn M McGrail
Michael Burgess
P. Alison Paprica


“The Consensus Statement on Public Involvement and Engagement with Data-Intensive Health Research”, recent data breaches, and growing public awareness and controversy associated with secondary use of health data all highlight the need to understand what data sharing the public will support, under what circumstances, for what purposes and with whom.

Objectives and Approach
This symposium explores methods and findings from public engagement at all stages of data linkage research, beginning with short presentations (~6-8 minutes) on recent work:

  • Mhairi Aitken: Consensus Statement - principles and an application using deliberative workshops to explore public expectations of public benefits from data-intensive health research

  • Annette Braunack-Mayer/Felicity Flack: Surveys and citizens’ juries: Sharing government data with private industry

  • Kim McGrail/Mike Burgess: Public deliberations on cross-sector data linkage, and combining public and private sources of data

  • Alison Paprica: Plain language communication informed by Health Data Research Network Canada’s Public Advisory Council.

Half the session will be spent interacting with the audience through live polling. The moderator will post a series of poll question such as “What is the most important thing for meaningful public engagement?” to prompt audience thinking on the topic. After the audience responses are revealed, panelists will share their own views about what they think is the best answer, and the main reason(s) behind their choice. The last 10-15 minutes of the session will be reserved for Q&A and dialogue with the audience.

We anticipate that this approach will surface emerging and tacit knowledge from presenters and the audience, and augment that through generative discussion.

Conclusion / Implications
Session attendees will leave with a better understanding of the current state of knowledge and ways to talk about that understanding with other researchers, policy makers and the public.

Article Details

How to Cite
Aitken, M., Braunack-Mayer, A., Flack, F., McGrail, K. M., Burgess, M. and Paprica, P. A. (2020) “Involving the Public in Data Linkage Research”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1507.

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