Using the Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework to assess the impact of public involvement in a mental health research context: A reflective case study

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We assess the utility of the Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework (PiiAF) as a resource to support research teams in assessing the impact of Public Involvement across diverse research and public involvement (PI) contexts. PiiAF was developed in response to a well-documented growth in Public Involvement in health research in the United Kingdom that demands a more sophisticated evidence base to demonstrate its impact.


We used a reflective case study approach drawing on contemporaneous meeting notes, PiiAF website resources and retrospective reflections to describe how PiiAF helped us to develop an impact assessment plan of the PI in a university-based mental health research centre.


We consider key aspects of our experiences of using PiiAF as a tool to help us design an impact assessment of PI, interpret these experiences with reference to relevant theory and research and share insights that may be useful to other teams considering using PiiAF.


These insights include understanding the commitment of time and effort required to develop effective PI impact assessment plans; the flexibility of PiiAF and its ability to be used in a range of research and PI contexts; and the advantages of involving all stakeholders (including the public) in the development of an PI assessment plan.

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