You've probably heard of patient and public involvement by now. You may even have ‘involved’ people in your research. But why involve patients, carers and members of the public at all? Is it just another hoop to jump through when preparing a research funding application for submission, or could it actually add something to your research? Could involving patients and members of the public even help you to design and deliver better research, with outcomes focused directly on the needs of your patient group?
This article aims to answer some of these questions. It considers the theory underpinning patient and public involvement. This is followed by practical suggestions and advice to help you develop (or further develop if you already involve people!) patient and public involvement within your own research. There is also a case study to illustrate some of the main points, and extracts written by members of Research Design Service North East Consumer Panels.
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