Evaluating public involvement in research design and grant development: using a qualitative document analysis method to analyse an award scheme for researchers

Baxter, Susan and Muir, Delia and Brereton, Louise and Allmark, Christine and Barber, Rosemary and Harris, Lydia and Hodges, Brian and Khan, Samaira and Baird, Wendy (2016) Evaluating public involvement in research design and grant development: using a qualitative document analysis method to analyse an award scheme for researchers. Research Involvement and Engagement, 2 (1). ISSN 2056-7529

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40900-016-0027-x

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Abstract

A regional Research Design Service, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, introduced a small grant in 2008, to support public involvement (often known as patient and public involvement [PPI]) activities during the development of applications for research funding. Successful applicants are requested to submit a report detailing how the grant money was used, including a description of the aims and outcomes of the public involvement activities. The purpose of this study was to analyse the content of these reports. We aimed to find out what researcher views and experiences of public involvement activities were, and what lessons might be learned.

Methods

We used an innovative method of data analysis, drawing on group participatory approaches, qualitative content analysis, and Framework Analysis to sort and label the content of the reports. We developed a framework of categories and sub-categories (or themes and sub-themes) from this process.

Results

Twenty five documents were analysed. Four main themes were identified in the data: the added value of public involvement; planning and designing involvement; the role of public members; and valuing public member contributions. Within these themes, sub-themes related to the timing of involvement (prior to the research study/intended during the research study), and also specific benefits of public involvement such as: validating ideas; ensuring appropriate outcomes; ensuring the acceptability of data collection methods/tools and advice regarding research processes. Other sub-themes related to: finding and approaching public members; timing of events; training/support; the format of sessions; setting up public involvement panels: use of public contributors in analysis and interpretation of data; and using public members to assist with dissemination and translation into practice.

Conclusions

The analysis of reports submitted by researchers following involvement events provides evidence of the value of public involvement during the development of applications for research funding, and details a method for involving members of the public in data analysis which could be of value to other researchers The findings of the analysis indicate recognition amongst researchers of the variety in potential roles for public members in research, and also an acknowledgement of how involvement adds value to studies.

Keywords:Patient and public involvement Public involvement Lay representation Consumer involvement Qualitative Document analysis Research design Patient and public engagement Participatory research, Patient and public involvement, Public involvement, Lay representation, Consumer involvement, Qualitative, Document analysis, Research design, Patient and public engagement, Participatory research, JCOpen
Subjects:L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
L Social studies > L431 Health Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:23242
Deposited On:07 Jun 2016 10:55

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