Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research can enhance its relevance. Older care-home residents are often not involved in research processes even when studies are care-home focused.
To conduct a systematic review to find out to what extent and how older care-home residents have been involved in research as collaborators or advisors.
A systematic literature search of 12 databases, covering the period from 1990 to September 2014 was conducted. A lateral search was also carried out. Standardised inclusion criteria were used and checked independently by two researchers.
Nineteen reports and papers were identified relating to 11 different studies. Care-home residents had been involved in the research process in multiple ways. Two key themes were identified: (i) the differences in residents' involvement in small-scale and large-scale studies and (ii) the barriers to and facilitators of involvement.
Small-scale studies involved residents as collaborators in participatory action research, whereas larger studies involved residents as consultants in advisory roles. There are multiple facilitators of and barriers to involving residents as PPI members. The reporting of PPI varies. While it is difficult to evaluate the impact of involving care-home residents on the research outcomes, impact has been demonstrated from more inclusive research processes with care-home residents. The review shows that older care-home residents can be successfully involved in the research process.