Background: In recent years, psychological research has begun to recognize the importance of patient and public involvement (PPI); to involve members of the public rather than doing research ‘to’, ‘about’, or ‘for’ them. Research examining the impact of PPI tends to focus on the patients’ experiences without recognizing the profound effect the involvement has on the researchers. The aim of this study is to describe ‘how it worked’ for each party involved: people with lived experience and a research team.
Method: Under a guidance of a PPI involvement lead, five people with lived experience of mental health conditions were PPI contributors to a service evaluation project examining the effects of brief psychological interventions. Six meetings took place over a course of a year, contributing to the design and execution of projects including: 1) producing leaflets for patients, 2) developing patient and carer feedback questionnaires, 3) developing procedures and questions for a qualitative study, and 4) the dissemination of research findings.
Results: Details from the meeting notes and the progress of the various projects illustrates the effect that PPI had on both patients and the researchers, demonstrating the gains both patients and researchers received from PPI.
Conclusions: Rather than independently examining the effect that PPI has on patients or researchers, analyzing the impact it has on both patients and researchers reveals how involvement benefits the research project and those involved.