Patient and public involvement: Advice and examples from the COVID-Minds Network

In recent years, researchers have increasingly involved individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges in their projects. Many funders now require researchers to include public and patient involvement (PPI) activities in grant applications. Particularly during the COVID-19 crisis, researchers have emphasised the need to consult and collaborate with patient and public groups.

The extent to which individuals are involved in research is variable and can range from consultative to collaborative activities. For example, lived experience experts can simply review participant information sheets and measures or they can help co-design study questions and contribute towards data collection, write-up and analysis. However, even before the pandemic, efforts have often been lacking or unevenly implemented.