Sequential research to evaluate the impact of patient and public involvement on cancer research outcomes: using interviews, stimulus material and a modified delphi technique

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Evaluating patient and public involvement (PPI) in healthcare research continues to attract international interest. This article discusses how one exemplar study evaluated the impact of PPI on cancer research outcomes, with user involvement sewn into the design. The research aligned to interpretivist and pragmatist paradigms and resulted in a mixed methods sequential design. Phase 1 involved 23 in-depth interviews to explore perceptions of impact of PPI on cancer research outcomes with patients, researchers and stakeholders. Analysis from Phase 1 formed the basis of a ‘stimulus paper’ to use in Phase 2. Phase 2 adopted the modified Delphi technique with a virtual panel of 35 experts. This research found several factors shaped the impact of PPI on cancer research outcomes. However, the data itself are not the foci of this article, the methodological process, theoretical decisions, limitations and lessons learned across the research are.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Delphi technique
  • end user involvement
  • GRIPP2
  • in-depth interviews
  • patient and public involvement evaluation
  • qualitative mixed methods
  • sequential designs
  • stimulus material

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