Patients & Public

Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement

‌Working closely with the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, patients and the public are at the heart of everything we do. Our active partnerships with members of the public enable our research to benefit from their wealth of experience and their invaluable perspectives to inform the way that it is designed and delivered.

There are three key elements to these partnerships:

Involvement: where members of the public are actively involved in our research

We work with patients and public at all stages of AGE research – from discussion of earliest ideas that help to shape our research and set priorities, to the design of methods, interpretation of research data and sharing findings. We do this in different ways across our studies, including working with individual public contributors and with informal discussion groups, as well as in more formal collaboration with project-specific advisory groups. 

Examples from the past year include LiLL-OPM, as part of which we met with older adults in their own homes to talk about research and potential barriers to taking part in research studies, on-line group meetings with members of VOICE to plan recruitment of study participants, methods of data collection and discussion of findings in APPETITE, and our continued collaboration with the ADMISSION Patient Advisory Group, with whom we meet regularly to discuss all aspects of this 4-year programme of research.  With different types of opportunities for patients and members of the public to take part in AGE research, we aim to ensure that it is informed by the broadest range of perspectives - maximising its relevance and impact.

First meeting of the ADMISSION Patient Advisory Group meeting (March 2021)

Engagement: where information about our research is disseminated and shared with the public

Feedback is an important part of our research and we engage regularly with the public to share information about our progress and new findings.  Sometimes this is at public engagement events, such as research open days, but in addition we raise awareness of our work through interaction with the media and with social media.  Public involvement is also part of these engagement activities, and we work with members of the public to design and develop our plans. 

In May 2020, we took part in a virtual engagement event with the general public. Working with VOICE, we ran the first Faculty of Medical Science virtual Research Coffee Morning. Joined by an audience of 93, the focus of the event was on exercise and nutrition during the Covid-19 lockdown. We presented the results from the MIlkMAN study, and discussed the motivators and barriers in engaging in exercising at home during the pandemic. Read more about this event here.

Participation: where members of the public take part in our research

We also involve members of the public directly in our research when we recruit them to take part in our studies.  Sometimes this involves completing questionnaires and having measurements taken - others, such as MET-PREVENT, are clinical trials, in which we test a type of intervention.  

If you would like to find out more about being a participant in research, the following links may be useful:

NIHR Patient, Carer and Public Involvement

NIHR Involve - How to get involved

A PPIE Case Study: How to design a public engagement event for an underserved group of older study participants.