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Table 1 Final set of inclusion and exclusion criteria

From: Engaging citizens living in vulnerable circumstances in research: a narrative review using a systematic search



Study population

Studies were included if they report on citizens living in vulnerable circumstances caused by poverty, immigration status, or ethnicity. Although these populations may have different characteristics, i.e. language, religion, cultural assumptions, migration status, etc., what these groups have in common is that it is less likely that they will be engaged in research in the field of health and well-being and often experience discrimination, (social) exclusion, health disparities and stigmatization. Studies only reporting on the engagement of carers, representatives, advocates or staff were excluded

Type of engagement

Studies were included if citizens were consulted or involved as partners or co-researchers

Type of research

We only refer to the engagement of citizens on a collective level, such as involvement in priority setting for health and social care research, in the development of a prevention programme, or in clinical guideline development [78]

Study context

Studies were included if they report on research in the health and/or social care context. Moreover, the research should have taken place in the Western world, i.e. Europe, the United States of America (USA), Canada or Australia


Only articles that (explicitly) reflect on their process of citizen engagement were included. Articles which only give minor details about their methods but did not include any reflection were excluded. For example, an article which highlights that the authors involved a translator and gave the citizens involved a gift card to compensate them for their time and travel expenses without explaining why they made this choice was excluded

Characteristics of the study

All peer-reviewed studies in English or Dutch published between December 2010 and December 2019 were included. Editorials, letters, commentaries, opinion pieces, theses, and reviews were excluded. Reviews were used to identify other relevant studies, however