How to meaningfully and equitably involve patients and the public in scaling up: upcoming publication of a study protocol

Members of our Knowledge Translation component published a study protocol which will allow for a better understanding of how to involve patients and the public in a significant and equitable manner in scale-up initiatives for a sustainable health care and social services network (RSSS).


Scaling up evidence-based innovations is key to reducing waste and inequality in health and social services (HSS). However, we know very little about the way to successfully deliver public health solutions on a large scale. The lack of involvement of patients in the delivery process is one of the key factors preventing successful scaling. In fact, while this process is often initiated by governments, the values of the people—namely patients—who benefit from these solutions are often forgotten.

In practice, this involvement requires a complex process that is not as well known by those who use the knowledge. We propose identifying relevant strategies to meaningfully and equitably involve patients and the public in the science and practice of scaling up in health and social services.


We will adopt our general approach using a method developed by the RAND collaboration. Next, we will carry out a two-pronged study (knowledge synthesis and Delphi study) based on integrated knowledge translation (IKT). This approach includes the broad participation of a network of players interested in patient-public partnership (PPP) in the science and practice of scaling up, and a multidisciplinary steering committee.

We will carry out a scoping review following the methodology recommended in the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. We will use the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Participants: all stakeholders involved in the creation or testing of a PPP strategy
  2. Intervention: any PPP strategy proposed for scaling-up initiatives
  3. Comparator – no restriction
  4. Results: any process or result measure related to the PPP
  5. Setting – HSS

We will carry out research in electronic databases (e.g., Medline, Web of Science, Sociological Abstracts) from their creation dates. Then, after having consulted grey literature, we will examine reference lists of included documents and consult with experts in the field. Two reviewers will independently select and extract eligible studies. We will quantitatively and qualitatively synthesize data and present the results using the PRISMA extension checklists for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We will lead an online Delphi survey to reach consensus about relevant PPP strategies with regard to scaling up in HSS. Participants will include stakeholders from low-, medium- and high-income countries. We anticipate that three rounds will allow us to reach an acceptable level of agreement on the research priorities.


Our results will provide a better understanding of how to meaningfully and equitably include patients and the public in scaling-up initiatives for sustainable health care and social services.
Registration: We registered the protocol with the Open Science Framework on August 19, 2020.


  • Implementation and change management
  • Patient-Public-Organizational Partnership
  • Skills development, training and mentoring