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Public and patient involvement

[Image: Bloomsbury Festival 2013 visitor testing the CHILDSPLA app for iPad. Credit: LSHTM]

What is public and patient involvement (PPI)?

It's generally defined as research that is carried out with or by members of the public, as opposed to work that is about or for them.

In a health research setting, ‘the public’ would often include patients, carers, people who use health services and organisations that advocate for them. PPI activities could include members of the public helping to identify research priorities, produce research materials or sitting on a steering group.

Why is PPI important?

Involving public groups and patients can improve both the quality and impact of research. It is increasingly common for funders to include a public engagement or public and patient involvement strategy on grant proposal forms. The information below will help researchers explore different approaches and methodologies. All grant applications for research carried out with the NHS will include a section on PPI/public engagement strategy.

Which organisations can provide guidance and support for PPI?

INVOLVE - www.invo.org.uk

INVOLVE is a national advisory group funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). It supports public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.

INVOLVE public and patient involvement guides
The following guides will help you differentiate between participation, engagement and involvement, and consider why it is important to involve the public in research. They will also help you to plan involvement at different stages of the research cycle.

Public and patient involvement guide from Parkinson's UK

Patient and public involvement in research and research ethics

The Research Design Service London - www.rdslondon.co.uk

RDS London gives support to those preparing research proposals for applied health or social care research prior to submission.

Involving London - www.involvinglondon.co.uk

Involving London is a website that puts patients and service-users with an interest in health and social research in touch with researchers in the capital. Contact them to advertise opportunities to be involved in research and share best practice.

People in Research - www.peopleinresearch.org

Find people to involve in your research through this useful portal.

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