This article reflects on the use of a multisite rapid appraisal (RA) approach with reference to the (to-date) largest qualitative study gathering the views of cancer and cancer care in a cross-section of the Scottish population. A series of ten RAs were conducted in ten communities across Scotland, reflecting the geographical and socioeconomic spread of the Scottish population and involving 507 members of the public, including the views of people who are often termed “hard to reach.” The research method is evaluated with reference to principles of RA approaches: the inductive approach, triangulation, assessment and response, and participation. Presentation of the methods adopted in this study demonstrates the value of the rapid appraisal approach in engaging with members of the public in health-related issues, which belies the “quick and dirty” reputation of RA approaches and offers a model for future public involvement work in health care. This makes the reflections on the method utilized particularly relevant to policy makers and researchers wishing to achieve meaningful public involvement and/or consider a method not previously used in this context.
- combined methods
- data collection and management
- field methods