Project Summary

In recent years, individuals who have experience related to what is being studied in a research project are included as research partners (sometimes called stakeholders). The goal is to make sure people with lived experiences related to the topic being studied have input into the all aspects of the study, including what question is being asked, how the study should be designed, what type of data are important to collect, how to interpret the results of the study and how to make the broadest possible audience aware of the results of the study. 

One of the goals when a research team invites research partners (stakeholders) to participate is to include a diverse group of individuals. Diversity might relate to race, ethnicity, social issues, relationship to the topic (e.g., patient, a family member, a clinician, a content expert, etc.), or whether the person lives in a city or a more rural location. Such a diverse group of people will have different levels of experience working on a team with others to provide input regarding a research project. The goal is for these participants to be meaningfully engaged, which might mean they feel comfortable giving their opinion or having an opinion that might be different from others. 

People who have high self-efficacy believe they can participate in this type of task successfully. A person might have high self-efficacy for something they are familiar with but low self-efficacy until they are comfortable in a situation. One goal of the research team would be to employ activities that would support self-efficacy, but it might be that people benefit from different types of engagement activities. A tool to measure self-efficacy of engagement would allow researchers to determine the level of self-efficacy individuals have and target activities that might support an increase in self-efficacy. The same measure could be used to monitor if the activities are effective and the person is gaining self-efficacy of engagement. 

This study will develop the Self-Efficacy of Engagement Scale for this purpose. During this study the scale will be developed and refined and tested to ensure it is repeatable (if you take it twice without anything changing in between you get the same score) and validity (it is actually measuring self-efficacy of engagement). Once developed, this scale can be used by researchers to measure an individual’s belief that they can successfully and meaningfully engage with the research team. In addition, the results could be used to adapt techniques to support engagement then measure if these changes made a difference.

Project Information

Catherine Palmer, Ph.D.
Elaine Mormer, Ph.D.
The University of Pittsburgh
$699,400 *

Key Dates

24 months *
November 2023

*All proposed projects, including requested budgets and project periods, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract.


Award Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: January 24, 2024