Involving patients in rational pharmacotherapy research sparked discussion – Finland has much to learn from Great Britain
An event organised by the Research Network for Rational Pharmacotherapy RATTI, and the Medicines Information Network brought in 40 patients, researchers, and health care professionals working in different sectors to discuss the involvement of patients in rational pharmacotherapy research.
The purpose of the event was to draw attention to the importance of patient involvement in the research of rational pharmacotherapy and in medication safety research – to explain on a concrete level what patient involvement in research means, and to create preconditions for the involvement of patients in rational pharmacotherapy, medicines information, and medication safety research in the future.
Patients’ involvement boosts quality of research
The keynote speakers at the event were Gary Hickey and Kati Turner (National Institute for Health Research, NIHR). They emphasised that patients’ genuine involvement and their having power from the planning stages of a study adds to the relevance of the outcomes of the research for the patient, improving its quality. Involvement can take place in many ways, and it is important to consider in each research project how and at what stage of the research it can best be carried out.
To support increased involvement, the National Institute for Health Research has drafted standards for considering patients’ involvement, through which the involvement of patients in their own research can be considered. The different areas of the standard are:
- inclusive opportunities
- working together
- support and learning
- adequate and clear communications
- impact of involvement in implementing research
- research governance.
Also heard at the event was a statement by the funder of research, the Academy of Finland, and two sample studies about the involvement of patients in promoting safe treatment, and on the involvement of the patients in the ProShade project. Experiences on promoting involvement in clinical research were heard in the contribution of EUPATI Finland.
Group discussions focused on prerequisites and structures for increasing patient involvement in Finland
Key issues raised in the group discussions included the need for awareness, especially for researchers, but also for patients, officials, and funders of research.
Patient involvement should be a part of training for researchers to turn it into a self-evident and pleasantly routine practice from the outset of research. Exchanging experiences and increasing interaction between patients and researchers were also considered important. The discussion was summed up well in a comment: “Let's expose researchers to patients”.
It was decided at the event that the discussion on increasing prerequisites for patient participation in Finland should continue in an informal working group. The working group will be formed as a cooperative project of EUPATI Finland and the RATTI Research Network.
If you are interested in participating in the discussion, contact email@example.com.
Fimea online news 27 Aug. 2021 Discussion on patients’ participation in rational pharmacotherapy researchers 10 Nov. 2021 – sign up! (in Finnish)
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