Patient and Public Involvement, or PPI, is becoming an increasingly important part of the research process. The idea behind PPI is that researchers work in partnership with people who are affected by the health condition they are researching at different levels of the research process. This could be during the planning, design, implementation, evaluation and/or dissemination stages.
Having keenly signed up for a PPI training day being run by Parkinson’s UK, one of our researchers, Rebecca Wagstaff, found herself at Edinburgh airport at 5:45am, ready to board a plane to Manchester. The training was worth the early start – the sessions were informative and interactive, focusing on what PPI is and how and when people can be included in research, along with practical considerations to bear in mind when doing this. A particularly useful session was one delivered by a gentleman with Parkinson’s Disease, who has been a PPI volunteer on a number of research projects. Hearing his insights and experience into PPI from the other perspective was invaluable.
It was also fantastic to hear about the support Parkinson’s UK can offer researchers in incorporating PPI into their research. Parkinson’s UK are currently running a pilot scheme which aims to recruit and train volunteers with Parkinson’s who are interested in contributing to research through PPI. More information about what they can do to support researchers with PPI can be found here: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/patient-and-public-involvement-ppi-your-study