Two of the 15 participants were excluded because they had previously viewed the tool (n = 1) or were not a rehabilitation researcher (n = 1). Thus, 13 Ontario-based rehabilitation researchers were included in the final sample. Participants were in various stages of their careers, with approximately half (n = 6) in the process of PhD completion. Most participants (n = 8) had previously engaged PFCCs in research, although only one had taken a course on PFCC engagement in research (Table 1).
Results from the sensibility questionnaire can be found in Table 2, where items five, six, and seven have been reversed scored. The median scores of all items were at least 4, and 9/10 items had a median score of at least 5. Item 6, “there were missing stages in the tool that should be included,” did not achieve a median score of 5. The items that scored the highest (i.e., median score of 7) were “order of the stages” and “clarity of the planning guide.”
Interviews ranged between 17 and 31 minutes long. Findings are described with respect to each sensibility domain (i.e., overt format, purpose and framework, face validity, content validity, and ease of usage) below.
Most participants (n = 11) had positive overall impressions of the PFCC tool, stating that the tool was well thought-out, and included valuable information to help researchers. Jordan stated, “I think it’s very good and I will be using this in the near future.” However, two participants who had previous experience with PFCC engagement by virtue of their field of research had somewhat negative impressions, stating that the tool did not further their knowledge. Mason stated, “because of my background in social sciences, engaging the people that you’re doing research about is at the very basis of what you do. So in that sense the tool didn’t help me particularly.”
Five participants thought the title of the infographic was clear and suitable. Erin stated, “I think it’s pretty short and concise and to the point.” However, most participants (n = 10), including two who thought the title was clear and suitable, suggested modifications for the title: removing the PFCC acronym (n = 5), clarifying the infographic’s intent to be a step-by-step process intended for researchers (n = 3), and enlarging and capitalizing the title to make it more visible (n = 2).
Most participants (n = 9) held predominantly positive impressions regarding the infographic’s overall design, stating it was consistent, aesthetically pleasing, easily readable, used appropriate spacing, and language. Despite this, most participants (n = 11), provided suggestions to improve the PFCC tool. The most commonly reported suggestion (n = 5) pertained to improving the tool’s accessibility for individuals with visual impairments by addressing the dark colour contrast and small text size. On the other hand, Mason stated, “I’m actually red-green colour-blind and I could read this, so that’s a great sign.” Four participants suggested including the infographic earlier in the planning guide to ensure that it is visible to the reader, as echoed by Erin, “somebody may just see references and stop reading.” Two participants felt that the infographic was overly crowded. Mason stated, “just overall it’s really busy, so maybe if there’s a way to reduce some text.”
Purpose and Framework
Overall, participants perceived that the purpose of the PFCC tool was to outline possible avenues to engage PFCCs in research, as reflected in Becca’s statement, “ I think it’s really to help from the very beginning, before you even start the engagement process, on how to meaningfully engage with [PFCCs].” Contexts in which participants thought that the tool would be especially helpful included the clinical research environment (n = 4).
Seven participants felt that the PFCC tool could be useful for both PFCCs and researchers, whereas three participants felt that the tool would specifically benefit researchers more than PFCCs. Five participants said that the PFCC tool would be especially helpful for students or novice researchers, as iterated by Becca who is completing her PhD, “there’s a lot of really important information like how to get started...what to do and…[what] I am allowed to do.” Four respondents said that the PFCC tool could be more useful for researchers who lack experience with engaging PFCCs in research, as stated by Kai, “it was an excellent guide for those who are new to partnering.”
Eight participants found that the tool facilitates PFCC engagement throughout the research process, as reflected by Becca, “it provides a lot of helpful strategies and tips.” Five participants felt that the PFCC tool effectively outlined the stages of research that can involve PFCCs, and the associated roles that PFCCs can play.
Certain parts of the tool were found to be confusing and would benefit from editing and clarification. For example, Gale discussed the clarity of the language, explaining how “with specific points… [it] was unclear if it’s the researcher who’s supposed to be doing the [task] or the PFCC.” Additionally, five participants indicated that engaging PFCCs in the research process may be difficult to implement in reality. In particular, ensuring a diverse representation of PFCCs would be challenging, as Jordan stated, “from my supervisor's previous experience, she said that there is a typical...standard. There’s certain people that just don’t participate and they’re having a hard time recruiting a diverse group of people.”
Nine participants commented on the stages and checklist items in the planning guide. Six of these participants stated that the stages provided appropriate suggestions on how PFCCs can be incorporated in the research process. Three of these participants said that the checklist items helped break down the stages to provide several options to engage PFCCs in research. Lenny stated, “...The tasks are actually one of the things that I liked best out of the whole information package. It gives a lot of options and a lot of points where you could engage PFCCs.”
Three participants indicated that they liked that the tool emphasized the involvement of PFCCs across all stages of the research process, specifically data analysis and interpretation of results. Cam stated, “it's really interesting to think of involving them in troubleshooting in data collection, [and] even looking at the data. They’re looking at it with such a different lens. Even just having them help with entering, and analyzing...their interpretation might show things that I would [not] necessarily always see.”
Nine participants commented that the order of the stages and tasks within the planning guide and infographic were generally appropriate and that they followed a logical flow. Nine participants said they would not make changes to the order, whereas three participants made suggestions to the order of the tasks in the planning guide, Cam stated, “...you have ethics listed here before like funding applications. And it depends on the funding applications, but you often apply for the funding first.”
Ease of Usage
Most participants (n = 8) stated that it took between 15 and 30 minutes to review the PFCC tool; however, it took three participants less than 15 minutes, and two participants more than 30 minutes. Five participants stated that a more detailed analysis of the tool would require more time. Participants suggested that reviewing any PFCC tool would ideally take between 10-15 minutes (n = 4), followed by 20-30 minutes (n = 3). Three participants suggested that the tool should be shorter in order to motivate busy, tenured researchers to take the time to review it. Erin stated, “…but I can see it being an issue…for people who are higher up in research… I can see them not really wanting to open up a 16 page document and read all the way through it.”
Eleven participants thought that the tool was easy to understand and required an appropriate amount of effort to go through. Of these participants, six reported that formatting details (i.e., table of contents, graphics/charts, lists) were helpful for breaking up sections of heavy text, “which made it easier to read through” (Harper). In contrast, four participants found the planning guide confusing, stating that it was over-complicated, failed to provide context, and would benefit from more visuals.
Six participants thought that the planning guide complimented the infographic well. Erin stated that the infographic provided, “a nice, short, and concise way of outlining everything.” However, three participants felt that there was a missing link between the planning guide and the infographic. Mason stated, “I know that the planning guide informed the infographic but when I looked at the infographic I didn’t think about the planning guide.”
Recommendations for Modification
A variety of recommendations/modifications/additions to the PFCC tool were provided which spanned content validity, face validity, and ease of usage. Table 3 provides a summary of the proposed modification.