The report is based on a survey of more than 2,600 people in England, Wales and Scotland. It gives a snapshot of:
- the public’s appetite for engagement with health research
- how the public access, engage with, and get involved in health research
- how health research engagement varies for different groups of people
Who is it for
- public engagement practitioners
- science communicators
- policy makers, particularly those working in health equity
- Most people are interested in health-related information (73%) but only a minority actively seek it out (28%).
- Younger people, those with higher educational qualifications, and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are more likely to actively seek it out.
- Research into mental health is the area that people are most interested in (75%).
- More people are interested in hearing directly from scientists (82%) than in 2015 (63%), yet only 36% feel that scientists are interested in their views.
- More people have participated in health research (18%) than in 2018 (14%).
- When asked what participation in health research means to them, most people think of medical trials (49%).
- Around two in three people feel health research has had a positive impact on their life, and one in three feel it has had either no impact or a negative one.
- Those facing financial difficulties, from BAME groups, and those aged under 50 are more likely to feel it has had either no impact or a negative one.
- While most people at least ‘somewhat’ trust the health information they find (93%), only 32% trust it ‘a great deal’ or ‘completely’.
- Black people are far more likely to distrust (18%) the health information they find than White people (4%)
- 29% of people said they get health information from social media, but this is higher among younger people, people from BAME groups, and those facing financial difficulties.