Within the Bournemouth University PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership and the BU Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices we have been re-evaluating the nature and purpose of PPI (what, why and how) in order to identify ways of broadening the models and approaches used by researchers. This stems from our on-going work to identify, pilot and evaluate models which have the most impact and which involve a more diverse range of voices in shaping and informing health and social sciences research. As part of this process we conducted a concept analysis drawing on published research where claims of PPI were made. As a result, we identified five operational definitions for conducting PPI. The five definitions which outline different models or approaches to conducting PPI, were: undefined involvement; targeted consultation; embedded consultation; collaboration and coproduction; and user led research. We deliberately avoided presenting these as a ladder or pyramid of involvement given the significant impact on the research cycle which can be achieved with each approach. The definitions provide a useful tool for researchers to consider how best to incorporate public involvement into their research and to consider what the impact of doing so might be. The paper is available for open accesss at https://rdcu.be/5uin Hughes, M. and Duffy, C 2018 Public involvement in health and social sciences research: a concept analysis. Health Expectations.
Tagged / PIER partnership
I was invited to present at Imperial’s PPI network this week to talk on the theme of inclusivity in PPI (public and patient involvement in research). In the PIER partnership and the newly formed Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices, we are exploring challenges and opportunities for engaging seldom heard voices in PPI. The basis of our work is that those most affected by health inequalities often have the least opportunity to inform and shape health research. Beresford (2007:310) highlights that if diversity and the barriers that can be in the way of increasing diversity are not addressed, ‘participation is likely to be partial, and reflect broader social divisions and exclusions’ i.e. it will further reinforce health inequalities. This led to some great discussions within the PPI network. The main focus was whether we need to approach PPI differently to engage a more diverse range of voices. From our work at BU, we are finding that we need to think differently about who we involve and how we involve. Only a certain demographic of people will feel comfortable and confident engaging in focus groups, providing feedback on plain English summaries or voicing their opinions in formal settings. These methods and voices are valid but in our experience, are not particularly diverse. Our current work seeks to engage marginalised groups such as rough sleepers in PPI activities by creating outreach opportunities for researchers to ‘go to them’. As a starting point, we challenge the notion of ‘hard to reach’ groups. In our experience, marginalised groups are easier to locate and engage when collaborating with community organisations such as night shelters. The challenge is to change a culture of PPI which relies on the public ‘entering our world’ rather than us seeking a wider range of voices out in the community. It would be good to hear your thoughts and examples. Dr Mel Hughes, firstname.lastname@example.org