Use your experience to shape our research

Involvement of people with lived experience, shaping and guiding research, makes our research more relevant, participants have a better research experience, and research is more likely to be translated into effective practice. 

One of the ways we can involve people with lived experience is by joining our research theme groups.

Once a study or research clinic has funding, we may also set up a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP), made up of PPI Advisors with relevant lived experience, to inform the research throughout the study or clinic. 

Some examples of the work we do at LEAPs include:

  • Looking at patient information sheets
  • Making suggestions about recruitment
  • Looking at the wording of patient leaflets

You don’t need to be an expert on mental health or research to join a Lived Experience Theme Group or LEAP - it is your opinion and lived experience of mental health conditions that count. Researchers really value the contributions that PPI Advisors make and research is enriched by this process.

Research Theme Groups, which cover a range of mental health conditions and diagnoses, are attended by PPI Advisors with lived experience of that particular area of mental health. 

Researchers attend at the early stage in their research to ensure PPI involvement from the beginning. The group may discuss the research broadly, for example, what PPI Advisors think of a study, or it may be more specific, for example the wording of a question. How often a theme group meets depends on the number of related research studies, but generally they are held every few months.

Our Lived Experience Advisory Forum (LEAF) meets two or three times a year to discuss the direction of PPI and consider how it should evolve and develop. This group also has a role in governance and planning and how patient involvement relates to the overall objectives within the wider Research and Development department.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved and help shape research, get in touch:

Sign up to help shape our research