Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Nursing)

Schools and Centres

Nursing and Midwifery

First Supervisor

Karen Clark-Burg

Second Supervisor

Jim Codde


Background: the benefits of patient involvement in clinical care and research is well described in the literature; but there is little evidence to suggest that involving patients in the planning and delivery of healthcare projects is beneficial to the outcomes of the project.

Purpose: this study explores the perspectives of staff who were specifically employed to lead and manage healthcare projects in Western Australian (WA) public hospitals and health services, regarding patient involvement in their projects and the perceived benefits and barriers of this involvement.

Study design: the study was designed using a sequential mixed method approach in three phases : Phase 1 was the quantitative phase which comprised a survey ; Phase 2 was the qualitative phase using a semi-structured focus group; and Phase 3 was the data synthesis phase where data from previous phases were reviewed and analysed to check for convergence or divergence.

Methods: an internet-based questionnaire was distributed via email to project staff working in five public health services in Western Australia (n=100). Themes were generated which formed the questions for the focus group discussion (n=10).

Results: Thirty project staff participated in the questionnaire (n=30) and four project staff attended the focus group (n=4). Project staff perceived that patients do add value to healthcare projects; although, the findings indicate that they were not involving patients in all projects and there is no guiding framework for practice. The level of the project staff in the organisation, based on position title, had an association as to whether they involved patient in their projects or not (n=27; p=0.046) ; and consequently the number of patients that were involved (n=18; p=0.035).

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