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The role (or not) of patients and the public in realist reviews

Abrams, Ruth, Wong, Geoff, Hamer-Hunt, Julia, Gudgin, Bernard, Tierney, Stephanie, Dawson, Shoba, Boylan, Anne-Marie and Park, Sophie (2020) The role (or not) of patients and the public in realist reviews National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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Today, patient and public involvement (PPI) in research activities – as contributors rather than participants – is an expected component of health-related studies [1]. Researchers are increasingly held to account for facilitating such involvement and for reporting it accurately in papers they write [2-3]. PPI has become commonplace in empirical, primary research, but it is less readily adopted within evidence synthesis. Evidence synthesis, an umbrella term for different approaches to combining existing literature, includes realist reviews. Realist reviews intend to explore what works, for whom and in what contexts, most commonly for a specific healthcare intervention or innovation [4]. Involving patients and the public within realist reviews has received much less attention than for other forms of evidence synthesis [5-6]. Having recently conducted a number of realist reviews, we reflected on PPI within these pieces of research. Two broad and important issues emerged - why are patient and public contributors being involved and how? We recognised that the need for and purpose of PPI differed between our reviews, as did the processes for involvement. Looking back across our reviews, we have generated the following prompts for researchers (see table 1) that would have been helpful to consider prior to the start of our realist reviews. These prompts have been iteratively developed by the research team with the help from two patient contributors involved in our reviews. We intend for these prompts to act as points of reflection for researchers doing realist reviews. These prompts remind researchers to clarify why and how they will involve patient and public contributors.

Item Type: Other
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
Wong, Geoff
Hamer-Hunt, Julia
Gudgin, Bernard
Tierney, Stephanie
Dawson, Shoba
Boylan, Anne-Marie
Park, Sophie
Date : 13 January 2020
Funders : National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Grant Title : The Evidence Synthesis Working Group (ESWG)
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 05 May 2020 13:43
Last Modified : 05 May 2020 13:43

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