Involving the public in your study is important, especially at the research design stage. This is called ‘Public Involvement’ (also known as ‘PPI’ [Patient and Public Involvement]). Public involvement in research means research that is done ‘with’ or ‘by’ the public, not ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.
By seeking the opinions and recommendations of the public, it is a great way to ensure that your study is designed and set-up in a way that will be relevant to participants, and of good quality.
This can also help to avoid any setbacks once the project is underway.
The new UK Standards for Public Involvement have now been released and were developed over three years by a country-wide partnership between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Chief Scientist Office (CSO) Scotland, Health
and Care Research Wales, and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland
They describe what good public involvement looks like and encourage approaches and behaviours that are the hallmark of good public involvement such as flexibility, sharing and learning and respect for each other.