Downloadable definition of the impact of public involvement in health research (feat. patients, carers and the public)

Hot on the heels of a glorious Glastonbury weekend and its sumptious selection of the best in music (apart from Chris Martin that is, who is is just a pain in the backside) I have decided that I need to get with some of the more recent trends and increase my impact.

So I’m not going to be posting blogs any more. Instead I shall be dropping occasional tracks for you to download and chill too. Or get mad at if you so prefer.

Here’s a new track which I gave a first airing too at Health Services Research UK in Manchester on Tuesday (#HSRUK). Lovely people by the way. As was Manchester in the sunshine.

The NIHR Public Involvement Impact Working Group (feat.public contributors) have been spending some months now co-producing a statement/definition of the impact of public involvement in research. I’ve pasted it below. A few bullet points by way of explanation first:

    • The statement draws on feedback from the public contributors survey we did over Christmas.

The results of the survey can be found on slide-share here.

    It relates to NIHR research because this has been the main topic of conversation. But it could easily be applied across health research.
    There continues to be much debate about the term ‘impact’ with many much preferring value (as do I).
    We wanted the statement to be one sentence long and as straightforward as possible.
    A key concept people wanted to convey through the statement was this idea of impact being about ‘learning.’
    Another key idea people wanted to get across was this sense that impact or value comes from the interaction/partnership relationship that patients, carers and the public have with researchers and others.

Anyway, here it is in draft form for you to mull over and discuss with colleagues. Most of our attention is now on the supporting statement and providing guidance on the 4Rs. More on this later.

In the meantime, over to you to sample….as they say in the music biz.


Definition: impact of public involvement in NIHR health and social care research is defined as:

The changes, benefits and learning gained from the insights and experiences of patients, carers and the public when working in partnership with researchers and others involved in NIHR initiatives.

Supporting statement

By public involvement we mean research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them, as defined by INVOLVE.

NIHR’s commitment to reporting public involvement is to understand the influence involvement has on NIHR’s work and its key audiences, including the public, researchers, practitioners and funders as well as the wider benefits for health and social care provision.

Reporting impact of public involvement

The ways that people get involved in NIHR related work mean that the methods of reporting impact need to vary to best reflect the context of the involvement – eg reviewing funding applications requires different involvement activities and outputs than being involved in a clinical trial steering group. However whatever the involvement activity  Going the Extra Mile report published by the NIHR in 2015, recommended the use of ‘4R’ critieria – reach, relevance, refinement and improvement and relationships – as the starting point for providing both ‘quantifiable and unquantifiable’ feedback on the impact of the public involvement. Guided by the underlying values, principles and UK-wide standards for public involvement as well as the recent steer from NIHR public contributors the focus of the ‘4R’ criteria include reporting on:

Reach: the extent to which people and communities are involved in NIHR’s activities and the research it funds including the diversity of this population (links to standards eg ‘inclusive opportunities’, ‘communications’)

Relevance: the extent to which public priorities for research and outcome measures are reflected in NIHR activities and the research it funds (links to standards eg ‘working together’, ‘governance’)

Refinement and improvement: the added value that public involvement brings to research funded by the NIHR and results in tangible improvements to health services and treatments (links to standards eg ‘support and learning’)

Relationships: the partnerships and collaborations in keeping with the National Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) values, principles and standards that promote the best environment in which public involvement can thrive (links to standards eg ‘inclusive opportunities’, ‘governance’, ‘working together’).


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