INVOLVE Senior Investigator Case Studies

Here are examples where researchers have formed fruitful partnerships with patients and the public to help shape their research practice. (Source: INVOLVE – For full details see Senior Investigators: Leaders for patient and public involvement in research.)


Dr John BradleyDr John Bradley
Director, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre

NIHR Senior Investigator John Bradley has undertaken many different types of study, but his research is primarily laboratory-based, looking at the cardiovascular aspects of kidney disease. His experience suggests that most people, both healthy volunteers and patients, want to support health research and want a greater involvement than simply participating as subjects. Dr Bradley has found that patient and public involvement (PPI) in his work has positively influenced the development of questions and outcomes, has enhanced recruitment and increased the retention of participants in trials. Read full case study

Prof David GunnellProfessor David Gunnell
Professor of Epidemiology, University of Bristol

Professor Gunnell’s research focuses on strategies for improving mental health and preventing suicide. To plan and agree priorities for this suicide research programme Professor Gunnell and his team convened a workshop that included patients, representatives from the Samaritans (the national suicide prevention charity) and policy makers. Their views and input were key to ensuring this very challenging programme of work was designed appropriately and sensitively with the needs and concerns of service users and population health policy at its heart. One service user became a co-applicant, advising the research team and assisting with the recruitment of patients who self-harm to the study. Read full case study

Prof Hywel WilliamsProfessor Hywel Williams
Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology, University of Nottingham

NIHR Senior Investigator Hywel Williams has involved patients and the public in his research for over 20 years and considers it to be an essential mechanism for bridging the gap between the researcher’s ideas and the reality of the patient’s experience. This has included initiatives to set priorities for research into various skin conditions, identifying patient-important outcome measures for eczema research and supporting a patient, Maxine Whitton, to become lead author on the Cochrane systematic review of interventions for vitiligo (a condition that causes white patches on the skin). Read full case study

Prof Sue ZieblandProfessor Sue Ziebland
Director, Health Experiences Group, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Services, University of Oxford

NIHR Senior Investigator Sue Ziebland is a medical sociologist who specialises in qualitative narrative interview methods. Her research and interviews with service users provide the content for Healthtalkonline, a website offering information about health issues. Professor Ziebland has involved patients and members of the public in her research for many years and believes it has had positive impacts. For example, when recruiting a researcher to carry out interviews with people with schizophrenia, having a service user on the panel was an effective way to identify the candidate with a demonstrable ability to build rapport with that specific participant group. Read full case study

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