University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-106
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Services Research and Policy
Volume23
Issue2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018

Abstract

Objectives: To explore how embedded patient and public involvement is within mainstream health research following two decades of policy-driven work to underpin health research with patient and public involvement in England. Methods: Realist evaluation using Normalization Process Theory as a programme theory to understand what enabled patient and public involvement to be embedded as normal practice. Data were collected through a national scoping and survey, and qualitative methods to track patient and public involvement processes and impact over time within 22 nationally funded research projects. Results: In research studies that were able to create reciprocal working relationships and to embed patient and public involvement this was contingent on: the purpose of patient and public involvement being clear; public contributors reflecting research end-beneficiaries; researchers understanding the value of patient and public involvement; patient and public involvement opportunities being provided throughout the research and ongoing evaluation of patient and public involvement. Key contested areas included: whether to measure patient and public involvement impact; seeking public contributors to maintain a balance between being research-aware and an outsider standpoint seen as ‘authentically’ lay; scaling-up patient and public involvement embedded within a research infrastructure rather than risk token presence and whether patient and public involvement can have a place within basic science. Conclusions: While patient and public involvement can be well-integrated within all types of research, policy makers should take account of tensions that must be navigated in balancing moral and methodological imperatives.

Notes

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). Disclaimers This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views and opinions expressed by authors in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, the NIHR, NETSCC, the HS&DR programme or the Department of Health. If there are verbatim quotations included in this publication the views and opinions expressed by the interviewees are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of the authors, those of the NHS, the NIHR, NETSCC, the HS&DR programme or the Department of Health.

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