Introduction to patient and public involvement in research

This is a one-day training course commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre (NIHR CCC), with the intention of introducing both researchers and members of the public to patient and public involvement (PPI) in research.

What is the aim of the training?

The aims are to: 

  • help people to build their understanding of patient and public involvement in research 
  • enable researchers to start involving patients and public in their research, or to develop their involvement activities if they are already active in this area
  •  encourage people to learn from each other about what might work in specific contexts
  • equip patients and public with an understanding of the opportunities and issues in becoming actively involved in clinical research.

 Who are the target audience?

  • People working in research who want to involve patients and the public in their work.
  • Researchers who are already active in this area, and who would like the chance to reflect on that they do and to share experience and ideas with others.
  • Patients and members of the public who are already actively involved in research. 

What does the training involve?

This is an interactive course. Issues covered during the training include:

  • What is involvement?  Defining some of the terms
  • How patients and the public are involved in clinical research
  • A talk from an involved patient, and time to ask questions
  • The barriers to involvement and how to tackle them
  • Involvement in different research areas/activities
  • Action planning
  • Sources of advice, information and support

What are the outcomes?

 By the end of the course, participants have:

  • an understanding of what is meant by patient and public involvement in research, and why it is important
  •  thought about the barriers to patient and public involvement, and how to overcome some of them
  •  started to think about how they might use the information gained on the course in their own work.

Who developed the training? Were members of the public involved?

The training was developed in response to a detailed brief from the commissioners.  It was developed by Bec Hanley, Rachel Purtell and Derek Stewart; Rachel and Derek are both service users.

Who delivers the training? Are members of the public involved?

The training is delivered by TwoCan Associates and service users are involved in delivering the course both as trainers and presenters.

How do you support participants after the training?

The trainers are not contracted to provide any support or information after the training; there is an assumption that support will be provided by PPI leads from within the Clinical Research Networks at a local and national level. However, as part of the training the facilitators give their contact details and invite people to contact them if they have any queries.

Have you evaluated the training?

An evaluation form is issued to participants at the end of each course. The evaluation of one of the more recent courses (July 2009) showed the following from 28 returned evaluation forms:

  • All of the participants thought the course was excellent or good – 15 said it was excellent and 11 that it was good overall. Most people said the course was either useful or extremely useful for their current work.
  • All but one person said that they would be likely to change their practice as a result of attending. We think this is the most important piece of feedback.

 When is this training most useful?  Who is it most useful for?

This is a general introduction largely to motivate and enthuse people about public involvement in research. Participants may need follow-up support and information before becoming involved or involving people in practice. This training would be useful for universities, research centres or research networks looking to train their researchers and to encourage and motivate them to involve service users in their work.

Contact for more information:

Bec Hanley at TwoCan Associates

May 2012