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OP79 Optimising patient and public engagement in trials of complex interventions
  1. N Kime,
  2. A Heaven,
  3. C Quinn,
  4. S Brown
  1. Academic Unit of Ageing and Stroke Research, Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford, UK


Background Public involvement is mandated by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and its ‘UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research’ provide a benchmark for effectiveness. Whilst guidance exists about how, when and why to enact public involvement, there is still debate around how to evaluate it and its impact. Public involvement is an integral component of the personalised care planning for older people with frailty programme (PROSPER). This work aimed to evaluate public involvement structures in the feasibility stage of the PROSPER programme and provide recommendations for its optimisation.

Methods Two lay representatives with requisite training and skills conducted qualitative face-to-face interviews with lay members and stakeholders from all levels of the PROSPER programme, from strategic to operational. The interviews explored influence and impact. In addition, documentary analysis of minutes from meetings involving lay members was performed to identify to what extent lay member involvement was embedded in the Programme along with barriers and facilitators to engagement. Two researchers and the lay representatives conducted thematic analysis of both sets of data using a framework based on the NIHR standards.

Results Twelve qualitative interviews and twenty three documentary analyses of meeting minutes were conducted. Identified themes were centred on: 1) individual members, notably training and skills utilisation and development and learning around the research process, and 2) the demonstrable impact of public involvement on individuals, the Programme, NHS research and the wider community. Improvements to current arrangements, including diversity of representation in the public involvement groups and the timely communication of information to its members, were proposed as recommendations for the development of public involvement in the definitive trial.

Conclusion This evaluation has shown that the current public involvement structures in PROSPER largely meet the NIHR standards. Furthermore, it has highlighted tangible impacts of public involvement for individuals, the Programme and the wider community. However, several areas of improvement were recognised which will be addressed in the definitive trial. Strengths and limitations around lay representatives conducting interviews and members’ impact on the research were identified.

  • public involvement
  • evaluation
  • qualitative

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