Background: Although consumer and community engagement (CCE) in health care is receiving increasing attention, research and practice in this area are hampered by the variability of concepts and terminology commonly employed. This scoping meta-review aims to identify key CCE concepts and examine terminology used to describe them.
Methods: In a scoping meta-review, an extensive list of 47 phrases and 11 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) was used to undertake a comprehensive and systematic search in PubMed Central, Embase, EBM reviews, CINAHL, APAPsycNET, and Scopus.
Results: 59 systematic reviews met the selection criteria and were included in the final analysis. The analysis identified nine different concepts related to CCE: shared decision making, self-management, CCE in health care systems, community-based health promotion, providing access to health care, rehabilitation, participation in research, collaboration in research design and conduct, and peer support. The identified concepts differ from each other in many aspects including the aim of the activity, the role of consumers and the type of professionals' involvement. Each concept was described by a range of terms, with some terms shared by different concepts. In addition, two overlapping concepts of patient-centeredness and patient empowerment were recognised.
Conclusions: This study describes CCE-related key concepts and provides new insight into their relationship with different CCE-related terms. Identification of key CCE-related concepts and terms will be useful to focus future studies and initiatives and enhance production of CCE-related evidence.