Patient and public involvement in research design and oversight

Jane Fletcher, Amelia Swift, Martin Hewison, Sheldon Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.
Keywords: Focus groups; patient engagement; patients; research; research methods; study design; study participation; study recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1786
JournalNurse Researcher
Early online date19 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Aug 2021


  • Focus groups
  • patient engagement
  • patients
  • research
  • research methods
  • study design
  • study participation
  • study recruitment


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