Table 1

Rationales for patient and public involvement (PPI)

PPI as ‘means to an end’PPI as ‘end in itself’
ModelConsultation by invitationPartnership/alliance
  • Top down

  • Pragmatic

  • Outcome orientated

  • Bottom up

  • Rights based

  • Process orientated

Purpose for research
  • Increases the relevance of the research

  • Increases the quality of the research (adds insight to the design, methods and findings; assists in dissemination and implementation)

  • Representation of community values and preferences

  • Transparency and accountability

  • Equalising elitist and exclusionary power imbalances between the public and the academic community

Nature of involvement
  • Information giving about decisions made

  • Invitation to respond

  • Encourage new ideas and joint decision making