Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

10 years of Patient and Public Involvement in the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research | Elisabeth Ehrlich

Elisabeth Ehrlich spoke to us about her reflections on the development of Patient and Public Involvement in the Centre over the past 10 years.

Elisabeth has been involved in the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research from its inception. She told us about her experiences and how patient and public involvement has evolved over the last decade.

Patient and Public Involvement at the heart of the Centre

Patient and Public Involvement has always had a prominent role in the Centre – from the very beginning it was a basic principle.

The principle was that Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) members had an equal role in research as any other member of a research study, be that a researcher, the principal investigator or people in a support role. Everyone is given their space to give their ideas.

Patient and Public Involvement members found their voice and were encouraged to speak, contribute and even to lead.

Elisabeth Ehrlich

Elisabeth has had experience in all of the varying roles in research projects, from giving her opinion on the project scope and questions to answer, to reviewing questionnaires and surveys that people with asthma may complete as a study participant, and being a co-author on publications. Elisabeth also had a hand in suggesting a research study topic, then guiding that study, having a close eye on its progress and writing up into a published article in a peer-reviewed journal.

[Image to right: Elisabeth Ehrlich, Patient and Public Involvement member of the Centre] 


Collaborative Research

The ethos of the Centre is to work together to produce research for the benefit of all people living with asthma. Elisabeth articulated how people with asthma have guided researchers in the Centre through their lived experience of the disease.

Researchers learned that PPI members had knowledge of living with asthma and other skills too. No one person has everything. The strengths and knowledge of researchers benefited from everything that PPI members had to offer from their own work experiences and individual strengths. Research projects were enhanced: researchers learned that data represented actual people not just numbers. All who have participated in Centre research projects, whether they be researchers or PPI members, have recognised that they have produced a better product together.

The Future of PPI in Respiratory Research

While the Centre is coming to the end of its 10 years of funding, members want the lessons we have learned to continue.

We want to keep people with respiratory disease at the heart of our research, collaborating on studies, being co-authors on publications: the driving force in the Centre.

It would be detrimental to research if the future of respiratory research did not retain the valuable, free contribution that PPI members bring.

With members like Elisabeth, we know that our research will be stronger. Find out more about becoming a PPI member in the Centre, or in other respiratory research projects, on the Public Involvement section of our website.

Patient Involvement