Using a blog to get PPI input before a funding application
It can be difficult to get PPI on the development of a grant before funding has been obtained. By using a blog it was possible to get meaningful contributions without incurring any costs, but also to get a wider range of comments and discussion than might have been possible.
To run a blog to get PPI input before a funding application for a full research project on the topic of the interaction of pets with their owners’ health and vice versa.
The researchers were a collaborative from Nottingham and Oxford Universities. PPI Contributors were both pet owners and vet staff.
What was done (and what worked!)
The blog was online and publicized through the networks of the two Universities, which included some veterinary contacts. They were pleased to get 26 responses.
Mid-March – mid-May 2017
The difference PPI made
- It was possible to both pose research questions and refine them through this blog, which turned into a dialogue between researchers and commenters.
- These interactions suggested new areas of emphasis for the research, but also led to the inclusion of a new work programme in the application, on the experiences of vets.
What was learnt?
PPI Contributors were able to contribute by leaving a comment at a time of their choosing on the blog without having to give any personal details and without having to travel to meetings.
We learnt that the comments could as fruitful as direct contact with PPI Contributors and enable a wider range of people to be involved.
What people said
“This blog clearly demonstrates the need for more training in this and it’s something that I hope can be an outcome of this project.”
“Again, shows the huge benefits of hearing the voice of an owner to inform what we do.”
Conclusions and what next?
An application to the Economic and Social Research Council is now being prepared. The blog made it clear that future involvement would be welcomed if the research was funded. As blog moderators the researchers have contact details of contributors.