Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approaches in mental health projects involving young people: a scoping review protocol

Josimar Antonio de Alcantara Mendes*, Mathijs Lucassen, Alex Adams, Lucy Martin, Christine Aicardi, Rebecca Woodcock, Emma Nielsen, Ellen Townsend, Marina Jirotka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rather than being perceived as merely ‘part of the problem’, the perspectives and experiences of young people play a pivotal role in devising effective solutions for mental health challenges. Two distinct methodologies that aid in this endeavour are ‘patient and public involvement’ (PPI) and ‘responsible research and innovation’ (RRI). However, there is a tendency to conflate PPI and RRI practices, leading to ambiguity in their application. Moreover, the extent and nature of young people’s involvement in mental health-related projects (namely: research, intervention, product development) employing these methodologies, and the subsequent implications thereof, remain unclear. Consequently, the proposed scoping review aims to identify and analyse literature pertaining to PPI and RRI approaches in mental health projects that engage young people in collaboration.

The selected databases will be MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, Scopus, Web of Science, IBBS, CINAHL (EBSCO) and ASSIA. Comprehensive searches will span from the inception of each database. A pilot test will be conducted to assess the screening criteria and data extraction form, with two authors independently reviewing titles and abstracts. Full-text articles meeting the inclusion criteria will undergo narrative syntheses, with results presented in tabular format. Feedback on the findings from a youth perspective will be sought from young people within our broader research network, namely Sprouting Minds. The review will adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) and follow the PRISMA-ScR procedures. Inclusion criteria will comprise English-language, primary research peer-reviewed articles focused on Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) or Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), examining mental health-related research processes, interventions, and products developed in collaboration with young people. Studies employing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches will be considered, while non-journal publications will be excluded.

The intended scoping review aims to map the literature concerning mental health-related projects that engage with young people through PPI or RRI approaches. The outcomes hold promise for enriching the participatory research domain, particularly in studies centred on young people and their mental well-being. Furthermore, by delineating potential overlaps and distinctions between PPI and RRI, the findings stand to aid mental health researchers and practitioners in making informed decisions about the most suitable approach for their projects when partnering with young individuals.

Systematic review registration
Open Science Framework (registration: DOI
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalRes Involv Engagem
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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