An uneven spread: a review of public involvement in the National Institute of Health Research's Health Technology Assessment program

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2011 Oct;27(4):343-7. doi: 10.1017/S0266462311000559.


Objectives: This study comprises a review of public involvement strategies across the five stages of research management in the UK's HTA program at the end of a 10-year period. These five stages are: identification of topics; prioritization of these topics as researchable questions; commissioning of research; monitoring of projects throughout their implementation; and publication and dissemination of findings.

Methods: Internal HTA documentation was analyzed alongside narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews of program staff, and a rapid review of published literature.

Results: Public involvement strategies have developed with the growth of the HTA program but were spread unevenly across the five stages of research management. Public involvement was present in identification, strongest in prioritization, present in commissioning but minimal in monitoring and absent in publication and dissemination.

Conclusions: The HTA program has developed public involvement strategies but mainly in prioritization. Further research is required to ascertain where public involvement can be most appropriately used and to evaluate its impact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration*
  • Community Participation / methods*
  • Health Priorities
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration*
  • United Kingdom