The Journey From Student to Doctor: a Patient and Public Involvement member's perspective
Noelle Morgan, Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) member of the Centre, describes the touchpoints along a PhD student’s journey
Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research is central to making sure we get things right for those living with asthma and the relationship with students and researchers has always been at the forefront.
My involvement in IMP2ART
When I first joined the Centre as a PPI member in 2017, the first project I worked on was Implementing Improved Asthma Self-Management as Routine (IMP2ART).
As part of the IMP2ART programme, work was done there looking at patient education including creating relevant and engaging content for educational resources, GP invite communication, asthma action plans and remote reviews.
Emma Kinley’s PhD study within IMP2ART
Emma Kinley joined the IMP2ART team as a PhD student in the Centre in 2019 and it has been a delight to watch her grow. She brought with her a fantastic background in working with practitioners and patients with long-term conditions so she was able to hit the ground running.
Emma attended the monthly IMP2ART meetings with an initial idea of what the focus of her PhD would be. As she listened and participated more in the meetings, she adapted her thinking to include how supported self-management was being delivered in practice by healthcare professionals.
Her energy, calm style of delivery, ability to listen and interest in healthcare interventions shone through and were an asset to the team from day one. She made the project her own.
Listening and responding to feedback
There have been several times when Emma has got input from the PPI members of the Centre. There is no one quite so passionate as a PPI member advocating about their own health condition and it was pleasing to watch Emma navigate these emphatic personalities with due care. Every opinion was welcomed and Emma was always open to receiving feedback.
Observing and understanding how healthcare professionals deliver supported self-management during asthma reviews meant that patient buy-in was paramount. Video recordings are quite intrusive during an already anxious time for the patient, so Emma’s background in behaviour change was especially useful. In conjunction with regular input from the PPI team, Emma created patient information sheets and consent forms.
When Emma came to me for feedback on her Rapid Realist Review as part of her PhD, I must admit I was like a bunny in the headlights! The study design was complicated and quite wordy. Emma was receptive to the idea that it needed to be refined and clarified for the journal audience and for the healthcare professionals to understand how to utilise it going forward.
When I recently attended Emma’s feedback session to the PPI members earlier this October, it was great to see how things had come full circle for her. From initially joining the IMP2ART team, through the data collection – with a delay because of COVID-19! – and now with the results and recommendations in hand.
It has been a joy to watch Emma grow into a skilful and confident researcher. I can’t quite believe she is now so close to submitting her PhD. I know that she will make a success of herself in whatever she does next.