Introduction Patient and Public Involvement positively shapes research. By sharing personal experience, public contributors ensure that research is relevant to people’s needs and concerns. The UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research highlights the need to assess the difference public involvement makes. Yet, there is a recognised gap in pragmatic tools to support impact planning and reporting in practice.
Aims To develop and test pragmatic tools to support researchers working with public contributors to:
Plan and integrate public involvement in research
Track public contributions and the difference they make to the research
Report impact against the UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research
Methods The Public Involvement in Research Impact Toolkit (PIRIT) was co-developed by public contributors and staff members. Regular project team meetings were held and working groups were convened to develop and pilot the toolkit in practice.
Results The toolkit was developed and tested with three cancer-focused Cardiff University led studies. Feedback indicates that the tools are easy to understand and use. All test sites advocate future use.
PIRIT use was thought to:
Formalise and integrate public involvement
Support co-production of involvement plans, motivate dialogue and reflection
Encourage familiarisation with the standards
Provide a framework to set and monitor involvement objectives
Help identify practice strengths and improvement areas
Gather rich data to explicitly describe/report involvement activity, associated impact, and related standards.
Suggested enhancements included adding automation and notes sections to the Planning Tool, and guidance on how to collectively manage the Tracking Tool, and present data.
Conclusions PIRIT will be freely available. The toolkit provides a practical approach that supports public contributors and researchers to co-produce involvement plans, capture and describe contributions that effect change. Further testing will evaluate usage in wider practice to inform further refinement.
Impact The toolkit aims to fill a recognised gap in practical tools to support public involvement in research planning, tracking and impact reporting.
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