OBJECTIVE: Patient participation in research is increasing; however, practical guidelines to enhance this participation are lacking. Specifically within the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) organization, although patients have participated in OMERACT meetings since 2002, consensus about the procedures for involving patients in working groups has not been formalized. The objective is to develop a set of recommendations regarding patient research partner (PRP) involvement in research working groups.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature review on recommendations/guidelines of PRP involvement in research; elaborated a structured consensus process involving multiple participants to develop a set of recommendations; and sought endorsement of recommendations by OMERACT.
RESULTS: In the 18 articles included in the literature review, there was general agreement on the broad concepts for recommendations covering PRP involvement in research although they were heterogeneous in detail. Most considered PRP involvement in all phases of research with early engagement, training, and support important, but details on the content were scarce. This review informed a larger consensus-building process regarding PRP inclusion in OMERACT research. Three overarching principles and 8 recommendations were developed, discussed, and refined at OMERACT 2014. The guiding principles were endorsed during the OMERACT plenary session.
CONCLUSION: These recommendations for PRP involvement in OMERACT research reinforce the importance of patient participation throughout the research process as integral members. Although the applicability of the recommendations in other research contexts should be assessed, the generalizability is expected to be high. Future research should evaluate their implementation and their effect on outcome development.
- Patient involvement
- Patient research partners
- Rheumatology research