Disability Research in Australia: Deciding to Be a Research Participant and the Experience of Participation
Little is known about why people with disability choose to take part in disability research and what their experience is like. Knowledge of this may help researchers and research ethics committees improve the empowered and ethical participation of people with disability in disability, healthcare, and human service focussed research. This cross-sectional mixed-methods study explored the perspectives and experiences of a group of Australian adults with disability regarding their involvement in research. Online surveys (N = 29) and follow-up interviews (N = 15) were conducted. The study found the decision to participate was a complex appraisal of benefit to self and others, research relevance, value, comfort, convenience, safety and risk. The attitudes and behaviours of researchers in cultivating trust by adopting an empathic approach to the conduct of disability research appear to be an important aspect of participant experience. Research ethics committees may benefit from knowledge of the ‘microethical’ moments that occur in such research.