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Future directions for person-centred research.

Dulmen, S. van, McCormack, B., Eide, T., Skovdalh, K., Eide, H. Future directions for person-centred research. In: B. McCormack, S. van Dulmen, H. Eide, K.I. Skovahl, T. Eide. Person-Centred Healthcare Research. Tom Eide (Eds). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2017. 209-218
This book offers a variety of chapters that all have one message in common; to do valuable healthcare research in the twenty‐first century means to do research in a person/centred way.

Person‐centredness has evolved from a fuzzy concept with humanistic roots into a theoretical
perspective that has conceptual clarity, operational principles and approaches to measurement, all of which means it can no longer be ignored when conducting healthcare research for, about and most importantly, with service users1 in an ethical, reflective and methodologically robust way. As all of the chapters in this book have highlighted in a variety of ways, to get there, we need to relate to service users as persons and increase opportunities for them to feel empowered as citizens engaged in research and as active consumers of research outputs.

The meaningful participation of service users in research is becoming much more established and significant progress has been made in moving beyond the tokenistic ‘service user representative’ on project advisory groups. Indeed, many research funders require the meaningful and active participation of service users as partners in research who are facilitated to be equal partners alongside professional researchers/academics. Further, the evolution of research governance frameworks in healthcare systems means that the assessment of project feasibility no longer stops at ensuring that recruitment strategies are ethical and that the study population is available. Contemporary approaches to the management of research consider the whole system including the potential burden of the research on staff in organisations, the ethical engagement with staff, consideration of ‘payback’ for staff participation and the need for proactive creative approaches to dissemination of findings. So, just like the way that person‐centredness has evolved into a focus on the cultures of organisations and care settings, ensuring that person‐centred principles are applied to all stakeholders, a similar evolution is happening in research. The diversity of the chapters in this book reflects this progress and provides a lens through which we can determine key principles and processes for progressing person‐centred research. This final chapter attempts to synthesise the key messages and issues raised by the other chapters of the book regarding person‐centred healthcare research and in doing this, addresses three questions:
1. Where were we?
2. Where are we now?
3. Where are we going from here?