COVID-19: Public and patient involvement, now more than ever

HRB Open Res. 2020 Jun 8;3:35. doi: 10.12688/hrbopenres.13067.1. eCollection 2020.


The research community is responding with speed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with rapid response mechanisms to fund research, shortened application turnaround times, and expedited research ethics processes. Public and patient involvement (PPI) is under pressure in this rapid response research, where it is easy for researchers and funders to dismiss PPI as non-essential, an added extra, a "nice to have". In this open letter, we, researchers and PPI contributors, argue that PPI is important, now more than ever. The pandemic is impacting everyone in society, with normal rules of engagement discarded. The solution to overcoming this virus will come from many different sources and many changes will emerge to healthcare delivery and to how we live our lives. It is essential that the research to find solutions is shaped by all who will be impacted: the public and the patient must be central contributors and their voice must be hear.

Keywords: COVID-19; PPI; Public and patient involvement.

Grant support

Health Research Board Ireland [PPI-2017-001].