Remote working in public involvement: findings from a mixed methods study

Jones, Elisa and Frith, Lucy and Gabbay, Mark and Tahir, Naheed and Hossain, Muhammad and Goodall, Mark and Bristow, Katie and Hassan, Shaima (2022) Remote working in public involvement: findings from a mixed methods study. Research Involvement and Engagement, 8 (1). ISSN 2056-7529

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Background: This paper considers remote working in patient public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in health and social care research. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lock-down measures in the UK (from March 2020), PPIE activities switched to using remote methods (e.g., online meetings), to undertake involvement. Our study sought to understand the barriers to and facilitators for remote working in PPIE by exploring public contributors’ and PPIE professionals’ (people employed by organisations to facilitate and organise PPIE), experiences of working remotely, using online and digital technologies. A particular focus of our project was to consider how the ‘digital divide’ might negatively impact on diversity and inclusion in PPIE in health and social care research. Methods: We used a mixed method approach: online surveys with public contributors involved in health and social care research, online surveys with public involvement professionals, and qualitative interviews with public contributors. We co-produced the study with public contributors from its inception, design, subsequent data analysis and writing outputs, to embed public involvement throughout the study. Results: We had 244 respondents to the public contributor survey and 65 for the public involvement professionals (PIPs) survey and conducted 22 qualitative interviews. Our results suggest public contributors adapted well to working remotely and they were very positive about the experience. For many, their PPIE activities increased in amount and variety, and they had learnt new skills. There were both benefits and drawbacks to working remotely. Due to ongoing Covid restrictions during the research project, we were unable to include people who did not have access to digital tools and our findings have to be interpreted in this light. Conclusion: Participants generally favoured a mixture of face-to-face and remote working. We suggest the following good practice recommendations for remote working in PPIE: the importance of a good moderator and/or chair to ensure everyone can participate fully; account for individual needs of public contributors when planning meetings; provide a small expenses payment alongside public contributor fees to cover phone/electricity or WiFi charges; and continue the individual support that was often offered to public contributors during the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 24-08-2022; registration 26-10-2022; accepted 26-10-2022; pub-electronic 04-11-2022; online 04-11-2022; collection 12-2022. ** Licence for this article: ** Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: Gabbay, Hassan, and Goodall are (part) funded by the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (NIHR ARC NWC). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research or the Department of Health and Social Care. We would like to thank all our research participants and the ARC NWC Public Advisors for all their work and their support of this study. We would also like to thank Ruth Ball for her help with the organisation of the project. Authors information: At the time of the study’s conception LF was PPI Lead for the ARC NWC and the study benefited from the discussions and support of the PPI team, the Public Advisors and other members of the ARC.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research, Public patient involvement and engagement, Health inequalities, Covid-19 pandemic, Remote working, Digital literacy, Online video conferencing
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Inner City Learning
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2022 16:46
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 15:45

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