We are very passionate about the possibilities for health consumers in research, as well as their carers. It was for this very reason that Research4Me was launched – to make it easier for health consumers and their families/carers to connect with research. , .
For example, 80% of clinical trials struggle to find enough volunteers as planned, and 11% of trials fail to recruit anyone. That is a waste no-one can afford. We believe that there is a place for those that will ultimately benefit from the research to step in and contribute their knowledge and time (and potentially bodies) to help improve the research. That could be as volunteers for research or as people with lived experience of a health condition(s) and/or other non-scientific expertise to contribute to research teams. There are a wide range of ways consumers can assist, from helping identify and prioritise research needs, reviewing funding applications, contributing to operational discussions that might aid recruitment and improve the participant experience, to analysing and disseminating findings and more.
It is timely with International Clinical Trials Day just around the corner (May 20th), and lots of emphasis on clinical trials and medical research in the Commonwealth budget last week, that the Consumer Health Forum of Australia’s latest Health Voices edition explores perspectives from across the research enterprise, from health consumers to professors, about health consumer involvement in health and medical research. Our founder was one of those invited to offer a perspective, which used clinical trials as example rich in possibilities to involve consumers in research.
Read the Consumers Health Forum media release to learn more about this issue.