MRC impact study

What are the impacts of user involvement in health and social care research, and how can they be measured?

Jennie Popay, Nicky Britten, Katherine Froggatt, Andy Gibson, Ann Jacoby, Fiona Lobban, Debbie Mayes, Rachel Purtell, Tim Rawcliffe, Paula Williamson, Katrina Wyatt.


The overall aim of the research is to advance understanding of the impacts of user involvement (UI) in health and social care research and contribute to more robust assessment of these impacts and improved standards of practice in UI in research. It will address five questions:

  • What is already known about the impacts of user involvement in research?
  • How can these impacts be assessed and/or measured?
  • What is known about the factors that are causally linked to the impacts?
  • Can this evidence be used to develop ‘good practice’ standards for UI in research?
  • What areas of consensus and conflict are there about the values of UI in research vis-à-vis other research values (e.g. VFM) and how can conflicts be managed?

Based on the work conducted, we will produce and disseminate:

  • A framework identifying impacts of UI in research and factors associated with these;
  • Draft standards for good practice in UI in health and social care research focused on ways in which impacts perceived to be positive can be maximised and adverse effects avoided;
  • Guidance on the assessment of the impact of UI in research in different contexts;
  • A report on contemporary normative perspectives on UI in research highlighting areas of consensus and conflict, and ways in which conflicts might be managed.




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