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Friday, 30 November 2018

Talking research findings with the public

Written by Adele Higginbottom | | @PCSciences 

This year’s Research User Group Annual event took place on 9th November at Keele Hall and the theme was around “Talking to the public about research findings”.

We had around 70 delegates attending which included RUG members, invited guests, and staff members.

Krysia began the proceedings with a welcome and introduction to the day, and chaired the first session.

It was wonderful to have Professor David Amigoni present, who gave a Keynote speech on “Engaging the public in research at Keele”.  David spoke about the SEE PER project which involves all of the engagement activities in the University and how this can be rolled wider within the University to be a shared and understood resource. We heard about many different engagement studies and activities that were happening throughout the university and an interesting study was the work of CASIC which involved getting research out through creative drama. 

We were also very lucky to have a second Keynote Speaker, Maarten de Wit who had travelled from the Netherlands. Maarten has a long standing collaboration with Keele and gave a patient view for his presentation entitled “Dissemination research findings; a shared responsibility”, Maarten spoke about his involvement with a EULAR task force in developing a guide for disseminating scientific knowledge to patients and promoting knowledge transfer among patients and the important points to consider.

As ever Keele Hall did us proud with a lovely lunch, where everyone had time to chat, network and look at the table displays with information from Versus Arthritis, Diabetes UK, the Patient Information and Education Recourse Centre at the Haywood Hospital, along with RUG, LINK and PPIE information and two fabulous posters from our PhD students Isabella Troya Bermeo and Annabelle Machin.

Clare Jinks spoke briefly regarding a new request for a small project within NIHR looking at “What patient benefit means” that will help with outcomes for research bids. On each table there was a sheet of paper with “What does patient benefit mean for you” and each member filled this in with their own thoughts. All of the comments given will then be used within the study.

Carolyn Chew- Graham chaired the next session of the programme
Agnes (Adele) and Ethel (Carol) and Agnes’s husband (played by a RUG member) gave a short comedy sketch on dissemination and the language used by researchers.

The next session involved a panel of two researchers and 8 RUG members advising a new researcher who wanted to know how to have PPIE within her project and how to get her research findings out to the public. The panel all gave different accounts of how PPIE had been involved throughout the research cycle over the years, within different research projects across Primary Care. It was empowering to listen to the impact of their work, particularly their involvement in a wide range of dissemination techniques to get research results out into the community.

For the end of this session we heard from Devi Sagar who is the Research Liaison Manager for Versus Arthritis  and the title of her presentation was “Science isn’t finished until it’s communicated”  We  heard about all of the wonderful work that they are doing including  the charities commitment to funding research, to give best information and advice for people living with arthritis and also about the new campaign, which Includes the new hard hitting adverts which most people had seen and thought how thought provoking they were.
George Peat chaired the final session of the day.

Steven Blackburn ran the next session which involved round table group discussions about the communication of research findings. So asking “Where do people find out about the latest developments in healthcare and “How confident are people that this is based on research evidence?  Each table then feedback to the room and it was so interesting to hear people’s thoughts and comments.

The last presentation of the day came from Helen Duffy who really had the room thinking when she presented about Best Care for MSK pain.  Helen spoke about the NIHR Moving Forward document, which is a fantastic resource for professionals and is full of Keele based research evidence. Again we had round table discussions regarding “How do we improve the MSK pathway?” also “How do we get research used in practice” Each table feedback and again it was so interesting to hear the thoughts from each separate group.

Finally, I would like to thank all who were involved and from the feedback received it seems that everyone enjoyed and gathered a lot of information from the day.