Patient and public involvement in research design and oversight
evidence and practice    

Patient and public involvement in research design and oversight

Jane Fletcher Lead nurse for nutrition, University Hospitals, Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England
Amelia Swift Head of education, School of Nursing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
Martin Hewison Professor of molecular endocrinology, Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
Sheldon C Cooper Consultant gastroenterologist, Gastroenterology, University Hospitals, Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To appreciate the essential role that involving patients and the public plays in research design

  • To understand how collaboration with patients can help identify important research areas

  • To benefit from a practical example of patient group collaboration in the design and delivery of a study

Background In recent years, the value of patient and public involvement (PPI) in developing research has become apparent. Patients and service users have insights that are essential to successfully developing and completing research. PPI collaborations may improve the scope, quality, relevance and impact of research. Nevertheless, there are challenges for nurse researchers in ensuring effective PPI is embedded in research proposals and practice.

Aim To discuss the practical aspects of developing a PPI group, including one approach to convening a PPI group, and provide examples of where a PPI group has refined and improved the design of research.

Discussion Directly inviting patients and members of the public to collaborate in the research resulted in successful working relationships and tangible improvements to a study’s methodology. None of the patients approached had considered collaborating in research before and so would not have been reached by any other means.

Conclusion There are several approaches nurse researchers can take to convene a PPI group, including open forums and relevant charity groups. The authors’ experience was broadly successful, although future research would involve collaboration with other teams to recruit more diverse groups.

Implications for practice Nurse researchers are ideally placed to collaborate with patients and members of the public in designing and delivering research.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2021.e1786

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

jane.fletcher@uhb.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

Conflicts of interest JF receives funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), MH reports personal fees from Internis, SC reports educational sponsorship from Takeda, Fresenius-Kabi and honoraria from Novartis and Baxter. AS reports no conflicts of interest.

Fletcher J, Swift A, Hewison M et al (2021) Patient and public involvement in research design and oversight. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2021.e1786

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Debbie Carrick-Sen, University of Birmingham, for her assistance in developing the Expert by Experience – IBD Group, and the members of the Expert by Experience – IBD group and the D-CODE TSC PPI representatives for their valuable insights and continued contribution to the study

Published online: 19 August 2021

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