A research Advisory Group is a group of people (sometimes called a ‘Panel’) that is made up of different people, usually  patients and members of the public.

Research advisory groups provide input and advice in the form of thoughts, opinions and ideas to people conducting research (“Researchers”) about their research projects.

Advisory groups can be made up of lots of different people with different conditions or they can be specific for a particular condition or group of conditions. Your Rheum is an advisory group specific for those with rheumatology conditions.

Through Advisory Groups patients and the public can get involved in all stages of the research process. Watch our video explaining the research cycle here for more information.

Advisory Groups are a type of activity that is known as Public and Patient Involvement (PPI).

What is Patient Involvement?

When we talk about ‘patients and the public’, we mean patients of all ages; people who use health and social services; informal carers; parents and guardians; disabled people; members of the public.

When we talk about ‘involvement’ we mean patients and the public of all ages getting actively involved in the research process itself rather than being the participants or subjects of the research. Many people describe patient and public involvement in research as research that is done with or by patients and the public and not to, about or for them.

Why is Patient and Public Involvement important for health research?

There are many reasons why patient and public involvement is important for health research:

  • Researchers do not always have experience of the health condition, illness or disease that they are researching. It is important that patients, service users and carers provide their personal experiences and perspectives to guide the design and delivery of health research.
  • It is considered the right thing to do for patients and the public to be involved in any publicly funded research that may have an impact on them
  • It can help to improve the quality, relevance and impact of health research.