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For further information on actively involving the public in research view What is public involvement in research on this website and read INVOLVE’s publication Involving the public in NHS, public health and social care research: briefing notes for researchers.
You may also be interested in watching this short video of a researcher offering advice to other researchers interested in involving the public.
I think the first thing to do is not to underestimate the input and the time and the resources it takes to do service user involvement properly in terms of first of all finding and recruiting people with the right skills and experience and then training and supervising people. And actually that's best done by not having service user involvement as an add-on to the project but as having it integral to the project. So if you like its a key part of the methodology, its not a bolt on and will also have some service users sat in the room giving their opinion.
So when you design the study in the first place if its appropriate to have a high level of service user involvement then that's written into the methods if you like, so if a service user researcher is core to the process, if they're carrying out interviews and so on, then not just training but developing the interview schedule with that researcher and working out a way that they are going to be meaningfully involved in the analysis process, what difference that's going to make to the way that data analysis is done, that all needs to be written into the project from the outset.
Page last edited: 08 April 2013