Patient and public partnership

The BMJ‘s patient partnership strategy, launched in 2014, introduced innovative editorial changes to the journal aimed at making patient partnership integral to the way it works and thinks. We see partnering with patients, their carers, community support networks, and the public as an ethical imperative essential to improving the quality, safety, value, and sustainability of health systems. Patient involvement in this context is not about being a research participant, answering surveys, or being an interviewee. It encompasses setting research priorities, defining research questions and outcome measures, providing input into study design and conduct, dissemination of results, and evaluation. The strategy was drawn up with and continues to be informed by a dedicated international patient advisory panel.


Patient and Public Involvement statement


Key elements of the strategy are now being spread across BMJ’s wide portfolio of journals.

Foremost among these is that authors of research papers are now required to document if and how they involved patients in setting the research question, the outcome measures, the design and implementation of the study, and the dissemination of its results. We request this to both encourage the movement and ensure that readers can easily see whether, and if so how, patients and the public were involved in the research. We appreciate that many authors will not have involved patients as co producers of their research and this does not preclude us from considering your paper. For journals participating in this initiative, we do require a completed Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) statement in the methods section of the paper.

Links to selected examples of Patient and Public Involvement statements:

Comparison of the two most commonly used treatments for pyoderma gangrenosum: results of the STOP GAP randomised controlled trial >>

Evidence based community mobilization for dengue prevention in Nicaragua and Mexico>>

Computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) as treatment for depression in primary care (REEACT trial): large scale pragmatic randomised controlled trial >>

Real world effectiveness of warfarin among ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation: observational analysis from Patient-Centered Research into Outcomes Stroke Patients Prefer and Effectiveness Research (PROSPER) study >>

Examples to guide the wording for Patient and Public Involvement statements >>


Other patient partnership initiatives


Other elements of the patient and public partnership strategy are also being encouraged and spreading across BMJ’s portfolio of journals, details of which can be found on the journals’ author information pages: 


  1. Patient review of papers alongside the standard scientific peer review processes. To do this we have established a database of patients, patients advocates, and carers to comment on papers. We have an open invitation to people to join this database and encourage editors, authors and readers to extend it to patients
  2. Inviting and supporting  authors of debate and educational articles to get input into their articles from patients and carers, and including linked commentaries from them
  3. Publishing patient led and patient (and carer) written articles and series
  4. Appointing patient and carer editors onto the editorial team and inviting  patients and carers, and patient advocates onto journals editorial boards to bring the patient’s’ perspective to internal discussion and decision making bodies
  5. Ensuring clinical specialist meetings linked to the journals consider and ideally fulfill the criteria of #PatientsIncluded