Guidance for research-practice partnerships (R-PPs) and collaborative research

John Ovretveit*, Susanne Hempel, Jennifer L. Magnabosco, Brian S. Mittman, Lisa V. Rubenstein, David A. Ganz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence based guidance to researchers and practice personnel about forming and carrying out effective research partnerships. Design/methodology/approach: A review of the literature, interviews and discussions with colleagues in both research and practice roles, and a review of the authors' personal experiences as researchers in partnership research. Findings: Partnership research is, in some respects, a distinct "approach" to research, but there are many different versions. An analysis of research publications and of their research experience led the authors to develop a framework for planning and assessing the partnership research process, which includes defining expected outcomes for the partners, their roles, and steps in the research process. Practical implications: This review and analysis provides guidance that may reduce commonly-reported misunderstandings and help to plan more successful partnerships and projects. It also identifies future research which is needed to define more precisely the questions and purposes for which partnership research is most appropriate, and methods and designs for specific types of partnership research. Originality/value: As more research moves towards increased participation of practitioners and patients in the research process, more precise and differentiated understanding of the different partnership approaches is required, and when each is most suitable. This article describes research approaches that have the potential to reduce "the research-practice gap". It gives evidence- and experience-based guidance for choosing and establishing a partnership research process, so as to improve partnership relationship-building and more actionable research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health, Organisation and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Action research
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Implementation
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Research methodology
  • Research methods


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