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CMAJ supplement on patient engagement highlights work by School of Nursing faculty

Nov 8, 2018
Guylaine Spencer

CMAJ coverpage

Photo above: Cover of CMAJ supplement, “Engaging Patients in Health Research: The Ontario Experience”. Co-Guest Editors: Ross Baker, Michael McGillion, Frank Gavin 

Does engaging patients in research projects improve health research?

That’s a key question addressed by a new supplement by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The title of the supplement is: “Engaging Patients in Health Research: The Ontario Experience”.

Two School of Nursing faculty members, Dr. Michael McGillion, associate professor of the School of Nursing, and Rebecca Ganann, assistant professor, contributed to the supplement released yesterday.

McGillion is one of three co-guest editors of the publication. He is also first author of a paper about patient engagement in research related to surgical care and treatment for hip fracture and a co-author of the section's introduction.

Gannan is the lead author of a paper about a study involving patients in research which aims to improve the hospital to home transitions for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and depressive symptoms. She is a member of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit. “The study has engaged older adult patients and caregivers as research partners throughout the study’s implementation,” says Ganann. “Our partners have helped inform our research approaches within and across study sites. Writing this article in collaboration with one of our partners provided an opportunity to share insights gained through these valuable partnerships.”

The CMAJ supplement highlights the benefits, challenges, experiences of patient-oriented research, particularly the experience of the 17 IMPACT projects funded by the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU). In this collection, researchers share experiences about opportunities and challenges in creating and sustaining this engagement, specification of patient partner expectations, development of multiple roles for patients and caregivers for engaging with research teams, and the value add of patient and family partner engagement in research.

McGillion notes that in partnership with the Ontario SPOR Support Unit, researchers will be using the supplement as a teaching tool at an upcoming workshop for trainees in South-Western Ontario in early 2019. “Our aim is to use the CMAJ supplement as a training guide, focused on practical lessons learned around orchestrating meaning patient engagement in research”, says McGillion.

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