We believe it is vital that people with asthma, and parents and carers of people with asthma, are given the opportunity to influence and participate in research, and there is a building body of evidence of the positive impact that involving people can have. It ensures that the right research is done, and that the research is done right. That is why we coordinate patient and public involvement activities through our Research and Policy Volunteer Network.
Involving people with asthma
If you would like people affected by asthma to be involved in your research or to participate in your study, please click the links to complete an application, and download the guidance notes:
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your plans, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)?
INVOLVE defines public involvement in research as research being carried out 'with' or 'by' members of the public rather than 'to', 'about' or 'for' them.
Funders of research are also increasingly recognising the importance of involving patients in research. By doing so and clearly demonstrating the importance and relevance of the research to funders, researchers are more likely to be successfully funded.
People with asthma can be involved in research in many ways, including:
- identifying and prioritising research questions
- suggesting ideas for specific research projects
- as joint grant holders or co-applicants on a research project
- reviewing funding applications
- as members of a project advisory board or steering group
- commenting on and developing patient information research or other research materials
- identifying ethical issues and advising on solutions
- suggesting recruitment methods and strategies (and advising on alternatives if recruitment stalls)
- undertaking interviews with research participants or assisting in focus groups
- supporting dissemination of the research outputs to a lay audience
- co-authoring journal papers and articles for the wider media
- presenting and promoting research findings at conferences, roundtables and workshops
Asthma UK works in partnership with a group of over 200 patient experts, called Research and Policy volunteers, all of whom have expressed an interest in getting involved in research. With this group and a strong network of wider supporters, we are uniquely positioned to facilitate patient involvement in research projects and funding applications (to Asthma UK and other funders), and have experience of involving patients in a wide range of research activities.
The Research and Policy volunteers are made up of people with asthma, parents of children with asthma and carers of people with asthma, over the age of 18. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss ways in which we can support your work and ensure the needs and priorities of patients are met.
Patient participation - supporting recruitment
Asthma UK has also previously facilitated recruitment of participants to research studies, where the opportunity aligns with our own strategy and has the potential to lead to impact for people with asthma.
Last year we were approached by a researcher looking for two people with asthma to input into the design of their study. The researcher later said:
"It was helpful meeting the two volunteers and I found their input useful - they were both very intelligent and articulate - when I apply for NIHR funding I will cite their involvement."
We also recruited a number of parents to take part in a focus group run by researchers based at the University of York. The researchers had the following feedback:
"I can give you overwhelmingly positive feedback about both the process and the experience of recruiting and working with the volunteers selected through your pilot project. We recruited exactly the people we needed, who were all motivated, attended the focus group and contributed with their time and experience which was invaluable for the project."