To celebrate continued public involvement in research during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination asked organisations and research groups to share their stories. These will then be showcased as narrative Twitter threads @NIHRinvolvement channel from 13-17 July, alongside questions and polls, to encourage a week of discussion and learning around the public involvement during the outbreak.
We responded with two stories, one on how we first launched our COVID-19 community involvement activity, and the other on how we’ve involved the public in Imperial’s REACT study – a major programme of research seeking to improve our understanding of how COVID-19 is spreading across England.
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series PPI Awards: Round 4 Reports
In conversation with: Olive Adams, Research Midwife
Working within: Centre for Fetal Care (NIHR Imperial BRC Theme: Maternity Cardiovascular)
What did you do?
Our research department, the Centre for Fetal Care, undertakes studies on maternal cardiovascular health and other conditions in pregnancy at Imperial and with European collaborators.
We formed a group of women who were either affected by conditions addressed in our research or who were in the pre-conception period (the weeks or months when a woman or couple decides to have a child).
By Dale Weston, Research Fellow, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (Modelling Methodology) (HPRU(MM))
What did you do?
Our project was a Patient and Public Involvement group with 8 members of the public, attending a half-day workshop. First, they provided input on a systematic literature review drafted by a member of the research team entitled “Human Behaviour and Infectious Disease Modelling: A Scoping Review of the Literature and Recommendations for the Future”. The members of the public were sent the draft systematic review to read ahead of the workshop together with a useful guide to reading a scientific paper. Roundtable discussions were then held concerning any questions, perceptions, thoughts, or concerns that arose in response to the systematic review.
Lillie Pakzad-Shahabi, Clinical Trial Coordinator, Neuro-oncology, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London
Why did you decide to do Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in your clinical trial?
After receiving a NIHR Imperial BRC PPI award (Round 3) to run a project with a secondary school, I stumbled across the PERC-ICTU PPI training series at Imperial. These workshops helped me to understand the importance of PPI early in clinical trial design. I decided it would be useful to involve patients from our clinic and their family members to review upcoming clinical trial protocols.
We hoped to gather the perspectives of patients and their family members on our plans for the design of two clinical trials.
We are delighted to announce the NIHR Imperial BRC PPI Grant Scheme is now open until Friday 19 October 2018, 5pm. The purpose of this grant scheme is to support motivated researchers and their teams to undertake meaningful and impactful public and patient involvement that will shape their research and enhance the translation of biomedical research from bench to bedside. As this is our fourth round of funding, we spoke with Dr Candice Roufosse, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases about how winning a PPI Grant helped improve their research.
Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and affect more than 300,000 people in the UK. To mark world IBD day, Kapil Sahnan (surgical trainee) and Mark Samaan (gastroenterology trainee) organised and ran a National Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Research Day for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
They worked with a team of PPI experts including: Ailsa Hart (UK PPI lead for Gastroenterology), Christine Norton (Professor of Nursing), Nicola Fearnhead (President in waiting of the ACPGBI), Phil Tozer (an academic colorectal surgeon) and two fantastic expert patients (Azmina Verjee and Sue Blackwell).
At the 2018 Imperial Festival we opened the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Café for the first time. A new PPI methodology – a hybrid between a science café and a more typical PPI workshop – it was designed by five Imperial research centres in partnership with Patient and Public members.
Our aim was simple: to give the public a flavour of PPI by contributing to real-life research projects. As well as getting fresh public input into some projects, we wanted to try something novel in PPI and to have some fun.
Why a café?
Despite their modern association with tax-dodging and precarious labour, coffee houses have for centuries been associated with free discussion and the exchange of ideas.
Biomedical Engineer Shruti Turner reflects on the recent CRISH (Co-creating Innovative Solutions in Health) course and explains that engineers could learn a lot from PPI.
In conversation with: Thibaut Jombart, Lecturer in Genetic Analysis
Working within: HPRU (Modelling Methodology)
What did you do?
I organised a hackathon (i.e. a coding workshop) called ‘Hackout 3’, which was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU). The event brought together epidemiologists, stakeholders from public health institutions, and members of the public (professional computer programmers) to develop new statistical tools for disease outbreak analysis and response.
In this guest blog, Imperial‘s Cathy Thomas offers advice on how to use social media to engage (and involve!) the public in your research. What have your experiences with using social media for engagement been? Share your experiences in the comments.
Why bother with social media?
There are over one billion active users on Facebook and over 100 million monthly Instagram users – which means that if you’re looking to connect with members of the public, it’s worth considering how social media and other digital tools could support or enhance your engagement activity.
The useful thing about social media is that it’s a discursive medium that encourages sharing and participation, so rather than simply using it as a tool to promote what you’re doing, there will be ways in which it can support two-way engagement.