Exploring the mental health effects of Universal Credit: a journey of co-production

Mandy Cheetham*, Paul Atkinson, Marcia Gibson, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Suzanne Moffatt, Steph Morris, Luke Aaron Munford, Felicity Shenton, Sophie Wickham, Peter Craig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This article offers reflections and experiences of public engagement in a National Institute for Health Research funded study about the mental health effects of Universal Credit.

PJ’s poem powerfully illustrates his experiences of Universal Credit (UC). In this article, we outline our approach to public involvement and engagement (PIE) in a mixed-method, multi-site study about the mental health effects of UC funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Public involvement in research is defined by NIHR as ‘an active partnership between members of the public and researchers in the research process’. We view public engagement as a social practice of dialogue and learning between researchers and the public;1 at its heart is the core value of social justice, shaped by wider societal developments towards realising citizen empowerment.2 We adopted the term PIE in preference to the more commonly used patient and public involvement, given that our study involves citizens/people with experience of UC and staff supporting them. Deciding who our relevant ‘publics’ are, and how we meaningfully involve them in the research is evolving over time. Here, we describe and reflect on the ongoing process of PIE in the context of this four-year research project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-212
Number of pages4
JournalPerspectives in Public Health
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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