Background: Patient and public involvement (PPI) is part of any research including the systematic reviews. However, the body of evidence on this matter is not clear about the methods, process and challenges and opportunities.
Objectives: To report the existing evidence of PPI in systematic review and lessons to learn for future projects.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review searching CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, Embase, HMIC, and MEDLINE (31 January 2018) and checking the references of included studies.
Results: We identified eight reports that met our inclusion criteria: Serrano-Aguilar 2009, Boote 2011, Boote 2012, Kreis 2012, Vale 2012, Oliver 2015, Hyde 2016, and Brütt 2017. Research focussed on embedding PPI in research, methods of PPI, effect of PPI, and outcome of PPI. PPI is reported in all steps of systematic reviews, including writing the protocol and identifying relevant outcomes, searching and screening the literature, critical appraisal, interpreting the results for dissemination and writing the final report.
Conclusions: PPI for systematic reviews adds value in all steps including identification outcomes step. PPI in systematic reviews could be more useful if the primary studies consider PPI as well. Cochrane should continue leading use of PPI in systematic reviews through briefing policies and guidelines.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: PPI should be part of every systematic review. Our study shows the impact of PPI in systematic reviews and shares lessons to be learnt by research organisations.