Putting it into Practice

Title: Patient and public involvement in designing and conducting doctoral research: the whys and the hows.
Author: Justine Tomlinson, Kristina Medlinskiene, V-Lin Cheong, Sarah Khan & Beth Fylan.
Date Published: 2019
Reference: Research Involvement and Engagement volume 5, Article number: 23
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known

Abstract: Evidence shows that public and patient involvement in research has a positive effect on its quality and end-results. Thus, public and patient involvement in all stages of research is becoming commonplace. There are limited detailed examples however, that describe how to make this possible, especially for those doing PhD research. Doctoral researchers are often new to research practice or have limited experience and are often bound by strict time and financial constraints. It is also not usually a requirement of the award to involve public and patients in their research. Hence, they may not feel confident or motivated to involve or engage with public and patients during their research. We, four doctoral researchers, share examples from our own research studies that have included different approaches to public and patient involvement. Two studies formed public and patient advisory groups who helped design the research questions, data collection tools and recruitment methods. One enlisted the help of an online public and patient panel from a local hospital. A different study worked with patients from an established group to help define key medical words. We did face some challenges, such as the need to develop good group work skills and to apply for grants to cover reimbursement, but we all found it beneficial to involve patients in our studies. We noticed a positive effect on each study’s progression and an improvement in our own self-esteem. In addition, having public and patient involvement helped reduce the isolation we felt as doctoral researchers. Thus, we strongly encourage more doctoral researchers to involve public and patients in their studies.

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Categories: journal article
relevant to all service users
general principles of good practice
lessons from direct experience of involvement
General guidance on involving the public in research

Date Entered: 2019/12/02

Date Edited: 2019/12/02

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