Why you should involve patients in your research

When undertaking our PhD research studies, why did we decide to discuss our research design and topics with patients and carers?

We were awarded Public Involvement Funding by the Research Design Service (Yorkshire and the Humber). These awards have been used to support patient and public involvement (PPI) in the design and development of our projects and to strengthen our NIHR grant applications.

We held discussions with patients and carers to explore our research topics and design ideas. The aims of engaging with patients and the public at the early stages of our research were to confirm that the proposed research topics were important and relevant to patients, and also to improve the research proposals by refining our research questions, identifying possible ethical issues, and discussing research methods and recruitment.

Justine’s PhD study focusses on optimising post-discharge medicines related care for older people living with frailty. It aims to design and test the feasibility of a complex intervention to reduce medicines related problems and promote follow on medicines related care for older type 2 diabetic patients living with frailty after discharge from hospital to home.

Involving patients and the public had a significant positive impact by providing a greater understanding of patients’ lived experiences

Kristina’s PhD research investigates the barriers and enablers in the introduction of innovative medicines into patient care, aiming to understand the key issues undermining the uptake of innovative medicines into practice by using non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) as exemplar. It will explore the involvement and influence of ‘leaders’ at strategic and operational level and develop a co-designed intervention to reduce the gap between policy and implementation.

Involving patients and the public had a significant positive impact on both research projects by providing a greater understanding of patients’ lived experiences and identifying additional aspects from a patient perspective for further consideration.

We will continue to engage with patients throughout our research by forming PPI advisory groups. These groups will meet regularly to influence the direction of the research and be involved in the analysis and dissemination of results.

We bothgained unique and invaluable insights about our research from involving patients and the public, and we would actively encourage everyone undertaking a research project or service improvement work to engage with members of the public from the outset.


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