Cathy is a retired educator and cancer survivor who volunteers her time at health care organizations and hospitals. She became involved in research because she wanted to contribute to improving health care for patients/caregivers after experiencing health issues within her family in addition to her own. Cathy’s first experience in research involved being a participant in a large provincial study. This experience provided an opportunity to talk with others that led to joining a patient/caregiver working group who advises researchers on how to translate research material into lay language. Cathy has enjoyed this experience because it allows her to work from home and does not require a large time commitments. In her opinion, she is content with being involved in the later stages of the research process where she can help find ways to share the researching findings to the general public. Her advice to researchers and patients/caregivers who are interested in research partnerships is to consider that there is a broad range of types of participation, and that involvement at any stage in the research process can be considered a partnership. She also suggests that researchers ensure that a variety of voices and lived experiences are included in research.
- Learning From Others – CathyPost-career, Cathy feels grateful that she can continue to apply her skills, knowledge, and personal experience as a patient partner in research
- Improving Patient Care and Experiences – CathyInvolving more patient partners in research will have a positive impact on care delivery and public policy, says Cathy
- Skills for partnership – CathyMaxime and Cathy think the most important skill for patients is being able to share their patient experience
- Supports needed – CathyCathy enjoyed the collaborative aspect of a joint training initiative she attended.
- Role determination – CathyCathy feels that patients can have a role at any point throughout a research project
- Motivations – CathyLearning new knowledge and helping others were motivating for Cathy
- Developing partnerships – Cathy (2)Cathy was involved in creating a tool that would help connect researchers and patients
- Developing partnerships – CathyResearchers should take time to ensure the best fit for the team and project, suggests Cathy