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Finding and engaging patients and the public to work collaboratively on an acute infection microbiology research public panel

Grier, Sally; Evans, David; Gibson, Andy; Chin, Teh Li; Stoddart, Margaret; Kok, Michele; Campbell, Richard; Kenny, Val; Macgowan, Alasdair


Sally Grier

David Evans
Professor in Health Services Research

Andy Gibson
Associate Professor in Patient and Public Involve

Teh Li Chin

Margaret Stoddart

Richard Campbell

Val Kenny

Alasdair Macgowan


© The Author(s). Background In 2015 the microbiology research team became involved in a large European programme of research aiming to bring new antimicrobial drugs onto the market to combat the increasing problem of multi-drug resistant infection. With the purpose of developing patient and public involvement (PPI) in this project, the team decided to recruit a PPI panel to work with. The microbiology team had previously worked with a PPI panel on other research, but had found it difficult to recruit members. Methods Steps taken to recruit the panel were as follows: · Advice was sought from people experienced in co-ordinating public involvement in research. · One person in the team had overall responsibility but the whole research team was committed and met regularly. · Two of the team undertook training in group facilitation and connecting with the public. · Decisions were made about the criteria for inclusion into the panel, what tasks we envisaged for the panel, the length of and frequency of meetings. · Advertising the involvement opportunity through flyers, social media, emails and direct contact with possible panel recruits known to the research team. · Relevant documents such as a Role Profile and expression of interest form were drafted. · An initial public meeting was planned for all who had shown interest in the panel. · The expression of interest form was used for us to select as broad a group as possible.. Results Two out of three people who were approached directly and known by team members expressed interest in joining the panel (66%). Three out of seven members of a former panel were next (43%), then 10 out of 25 spinal infection clinic patients (40%), and finally 12 people responded to an email sent to 1261 foundation trust members (1%). Noone who was approached by indirect methods e.g. flyers or advertising on Facebook, expressed interest in the panel. Sixteen people were eventually selected for the panel. Conclusions It is possible to recruit a patient and public involvement panel for research in a discipline as challenging as microbiology. Good planning and the commitment of the research team were key to success.


Grier, S., Evans, D., Gibson, A., Chin, T. L., Stoddart, M., Kok, M., …Macgowan, A. (2018). Finding and engaging patients and the public to work collaboratively on an acute infection microbiology research public panel. Research Involvement and Engagement, 4(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2018
Publication Date Jan 29, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2018
Journal Research Involvement and Engagement
Print ISSN 2056-7529
Electronic ISSN 2056-7529
Publisher BioMed Central
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Keywords patient and public involvement, panel, recruitment, microbiology, antimicrobial
Public URL
Publisher URL


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