Public led research ideas go under the spotlight

An interactive workshop, held at the University of Liverpool, has kick-started a pioneering scheme designed to facilitate public led research into inequalities in mental health care.

With a small grant from Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group’s Research Capability Fund (RCF), the project aims to develop a high quality public-led mental health research proposal, primarily designed to secure funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The proposal will be submitted before end of 2017 and will be prepared by the eleven public members recruited for the initiative. A further three workshops are to be held during 2017 at Mersey Care’s Community Life Rooms facility in Walton.    

The participants will receive training and support from experienced applied health research professionals to help them plan and write the proposal. Professor Rhiannon Corcoran Theme Leader for Improving Mental Health at Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (CLAHRC NWC), said:  “At present it is very unusual for members of the public to be involved in all stages of a research project, from conception to completion. We hope this project will change that.  We believe that  including members of the public in research and implementation will lead to benefits not only for patients but also for health service providers and society in general. “

The project is the culmination of a series of public engagement events titled “Research: Have Your Say” held during 2015/16 and funded by CLAHRC NWC.  The aim of the events was to initiate research into inequalities in mental health care led by service user groups and the public across the North West region.  A broad area of concern was identified and agreed as the focus of ongoing activity which relates to improving communication and  increasing understanding between mental health service users and mental health care professionals so that the nature and type of care provided can be negotiated and agreed in a way that is sensitive to the wider determinants of mental distress.

Dr. Katie Bristow, Research Fellow and Manager for Improving Mental Health Theme at CLAHRC NWC reflected on the first workshop saying; ”Today we have taken a step closer towards identifying the formal research question that we will take to the NIHR . The day felt like a great success and included practical role play of clinical consultations and sessions on understanding health inequalities, how to evaluate research papers and preparation for a grant application. “

The participants have agreed to do some light homework before the next workshop .”

Would you like to have a go at the tasks the participants are undertaking?

Task 1 – Understanding Qualitative Research

Read this published research paper and answer the 10 questions to help you make sense of qualitative research.

Task 2 - Making Sense of a Clinical Trial

Read this published research paper and answer the 11 questions to help you make sense of a trial.

More articles     Posted on: 20 December 2016