Public involvement in research can influence, support and add strength to the way research is taken into practice.

You can help to ensure that research will effect change and improvement in issues which concern people most and so can lead to new improved services and changes in practice. Members of the public involved in research are often passionate to ensure that action happens as a result of the research and are able to establish relationships with key agencies and policy makers.

Example: A multi-disciplinary research team (which included three service user researchers) carried out an action-research project focusing on the lived experience of detained patients in a psychiatric hospital. In-depth qualitative interviews were undertaken and a staff training package on therapeutic interventions was formulated using data from these interviews. The training was then implemented and evaluated, with positive results. As a result, this training in therapeutic interventions is now being given to a number of staff teams in a mental health trust, co-delivered by the nursing researcher and one of the service user researchers. (St George’s, University of London 2011)

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