Patient and Public involvement in research refers to an active partnership between members of the public and researchers.  This means that members of the public work alongside the research team and are actively involved in contributing to the research process as advisers and possibly as co-researchers.

Researchers and clinicians may not have first-hand experience of the illness, disease or service that they wish to research. Public involvement representatives can therefore provide researchers with insights into what it is like to live with a particular illness, and what it is like to be a user of a treatment or health service. These insights can help to make health research more relevant to the needs of patients, carers and service users.

To read more about public involvement in health and social care see the RDS handbook.

Patients and the public can become involved  in all stages of the research process including:

  • Prioritisation of studies
  • Design and management of studies
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Dissemination and reporting of findings.

To find out more about how public involvement could be included at any stage of the research process, see the research cycle in the RDS handbook.

RDS handbook Going the extra mile