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Monday, 24 November 2014

What do you want researchers to find out for you?

I've heard a lot of talk this past year about patients being more involved in research and in decision making. People in high places are talking about including the patient voice, from Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins on Thursday at Health Quality Transformation 2014, to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI).

Minister Eric Hoskins said the first priority is to create and grow a patient centered health system. CFHI (Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement) says they are "Putting Patients at the Centre of Care" and they are behind the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) which has big research projects coming up. These indicators sound as though the patient rallying cry of "Nothing about me without me" has been heard.

This does not guarantee success - there are many forces that want to see their own vision of participatory medicine, some because of profit, some who like the status quo, and others who resist change.

I was involved in a tweet chat this weekend with The Arthritis Research Centre and their Patient Advisory Board. This organization and their researchers have found ways to include patients and their views throughout the research process. ROAR stands for Reaching Out with Arthritis Research.

The event featured researchers speaking about their new projects to an audience that included anyone who wanted to listen to the live webinar or be in the in-person audience. That's a big change from the usual way we hear about and use research in our own lives.

They want to know what the audience wants to see and hear at the next eROAR event. So I take that to be an open question. Let them know what you want to hear about.


Let them hear what you want to see studied.

They'll have to use those ideas to get grants to do the research so it may be a long shot but I'm betting you all have at least two questions that you want answered.

What questions do you have that you think are being missed and neglected in your health area?

Do you ever look at research papers and wonder who on earth would have picked ____ as a research topic? I have been saving some doozies that I just won't post and let them see the light of day.

I'll forward all responses from comments to the Arthritis Research Centre, or you can send them direct at their website. It doesn't matter what country you're in. You know researchers - they all share. Your ideas won't go to waste.


ARC researchers, bloggers, and Arthritis Society representative


If you are interested in a definition of Patient Centered Healthcare I have linked to a paper by Donald Berwick that has a good discussion of the concept.

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