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Table 2 Key recommendations from researchers and patient contributors about the novel approach (TATs and follow-up discussion) for patient involvement in questionnaire design

From: Patient involvement in questionnaire design: tackling response error and burden

Key Recommendations Description
Clear TAT instructions • Ask contributors to continuously say what is going through their minds with limited pauses.
• Avoid asking for evaluation (e.g. “tell me what you think about…”).
• Always ask if contributors have any questions about the TAT procedure.
Practice TAT • Practice TATs with another questionnaire (similar structure, different topic).
• Jointly reflect on the practice exercise with the contributor.
• Aim for minimal researcher interruptions during the practice task.
Multiple feedback methods • Contributors may not feel comfortable with certain feedback methods (e.g. TATs).
• When using TATs, always have alternative feedback methods available (e.g. open-ended feedback sessions).
• Use structured feedback methods (e.g. TATs) as a springboard for other feedback methods (e.g. open-ended discussion).
Good rapport • Establish good researcher – contributor rapport before gathering feedback.
• Making contributors feel comfortable will generate more detailed feedback.
• Making sure contributors have a positive PPI experience will benefit future research (e.g. with their continued involvement in other studies).