Patient involvement in research: Introduction

The development of new therapies is a highly regulated, costly, long and complex process. In an era of growing demand and emphasis on patient-centricity, quality and sustainability of healthcare, it is critical to address this major gap in public perception and knowledge. Well informed patients and carers have a key role to play in the implementation of patient-centred clinical research strategies and approval processes, access to treatments and treatment optimisation approaches.

Patient involvement is increasingly recognized as a key component in the redesign of health care processes and is advocated as a means to improve patient safety and to increase efficiency in developing new therapies. The concept of patient involvement has been successfully applied to various areas of patient care, such as decision making and the management of chronic diseases.
Patient involvement in research is widely recommended, and research grounded in relevant clinical need, patient perspectives, and patient priorities will enhance study design, practicality, recruitment, data interpretation, and dissemination. Other benefits include a fresh insight into issues, challenging firmly held beliefs, altered study designs, and novel outcomes that might lead to new development paradigms.

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