Within the Bournemouth University PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership and the BU Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices, the team 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 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 the team conducted a concept analysis drawing on published research where claims of PPI were made. As a result, they 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 co-production; and user led research. The researchers 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 access here Hughes, M. and Duffy, C 2018 Public involvement in health and social sciences research: a concept analysis. Health Expectations.