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Public and patient involvement in research on ageing and dementia

Julian Ashton (Journal of Public Mental Health, Paignton, UK)
Clare F. Aldus (School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Peter Richmond (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Helen Allen (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 14 August 2020

Issue publication date: 28 September 2020




This paper aims to assess the current state, and various methods, of public and patient involvement, particularly but not exclusively in research on ageing and dementia.


Interviews were carried out with a researcher, who has had a leading role in research on dementia; a public contributor with extensive relevant experience; and a member of the research design service with responsibility for patient and public involvement.


All those involved in the research can benefit considerably from public and patient involvement and it can make a significant difference to the course of a project. The importance of choosing an appropriate method of involvement is discussed and planning for it in both financial terms and time allowed. Examples are given of successful studies.

Research limitations/implications

Those who took part in the interviews were chosen for their record in furthering public and patient involvement in research. There is no attempt to compare their views with those of the wider research community.

Practical implications

The various ways in which patients and the public are involved in relevant research is a guide to those designing projects and those who may want to explore opportunities for involvement.

Social implications

Social implications include being able to influence research projects, contributors of all ages find they are valued.


The format of the paper is original, eliciting material from three viewpoints on research and involvement.



Ashton, J., Aldus, C.F., Richmond, P. and Allen, H. (2020), "Public and patient involvement in research on ageing and dementia", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 259-264.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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