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Meaningful dissemination produces the “long tail” that engenders community impact

Lee-Ann Fenge (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Kip Jones (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Camilla Gibson (Royal Hampshire County Council Adult Services, Winchester, UK)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 12 January 2018

Issue publication date: 31 January 2018




Lack of understanding of the needs of older LGBT individuals is a global issue and their needs are often ignored by health and social care providers who adopt sexuality-blind approaches within their provision. As a result, public services can find it difficult to push the LGBT equalities agenda forward due to resistance to change and underlying discrimination. The aim of this paper is to discuss these issues.


This report considers how a body of participatory research concerning the needs and experiences of older LGBT people was used to create innovatory dissemination tools, which then engaged communities through public engagement to learn about the needs and experiences of older LGBT citizens. Good research has a “long tail” – (in statistics, “a large number of occurrences far from the ‘head’ or central part of the distribution”). The report considers how a film and a method deck of cards, presented to service providers in several workshops over time, offered opportunities to learn and critically reflect upon an informed practice.


Because of the on-going feedback from our workshops, the authors, in turn, learned the importance of having a champion within a community organisation to take forward the LGBT agenda. A report of one such outreach champion is included here.


Consideration is given to challenges involved in creating impact through research, and how participatory community processes may enhance impact to develop over time.



Fenge, L.-A., Jones, K. and Gibson, C. (2018), "Meaningful dissemination produces the “long tail” that engenders community impact", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 45-54.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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