Challenges and adaptations to public involvement with marginalised groups during the COVID-19 pandemic- Commentary with illustrative case studies in the context of patient safety research

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Patient and public involvement (PPI) is integral to research on patient safety in the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GMPSTRC), and is central to our patient safety research within our theme focusing on people in marginalised groups. Due to the impact of COVID-19, researchers had to adapt how they do PPI. For marginalised groups, remote working and digital adaptations (the key adaptations made in accessing and utilising health services in the United Kingdom during COVID-19) can potentially lead to further marginalisation of people already marginalised and provide new barriers to others. This editorial showcases three case examples of PPI with marginalised groups during COVID-19, these are with: 1) adults with vision impairments, 2) adults and carers with lived experience of self-harm and/ or suicide and 3) adults with lived experience of homelessness. In these case examples, we focus on challenges relating to key aspects of PPI during the pandemic. First, setting up a PPI advisory group and secondly maintaining relationships and effective PPI with a pre-existing advisory group. We contrast these examples using more traditional ways of ‘doing PPI’ i.e. involving public contributors in various stages of the research cycle, with a more fully ‘co-produced’ approach to research when developing a new patient safety intervention. Important considerations for PPI with marginalised groups during COVID-19 include: how to avoid exacerbating the digital divide when using video conferencing for PPI, the need for enhanced awareness around flexibility and resources, and the value of working closely with specialist charities to enable adaptations that are sensitive to the changed circumstances and needs of PPI contributors.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Involvement and Engagement
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2022