Objective: To understand barriers to obtaining input from consumers in developing public health research. Methods: Documentation of a failed attempt at consumer consultation supplies information on barriers to effective involvement and conditions that must prevail to improve consultation. Results: People are keen to be heard in the formulation of health research. However, competing demands and limited resources make it difficult for community groups to allocate scarce resources to consultation. Sometimes research issues may seem 'academic' and thus remote from the urgent priorities of the people with whom researchers wish to consult. Consultation may require more time than researchers on limited budgets can afford. Conclusions: Despite a general public health commitment to involving consumers in research development, obstacles to consultation make it difficult to incorporate it into the research agenda. Implications: Researchers and funding bodies will need to allocate resources to consumer consultation if it is to become the rule rather than the exception in public health research.
- Consumer consultation
- Public health research