Study explores patient engagement in lab research

January 6, 2022

“Our findings should encourage laboratory researchers to explore new collaborations with patient partners,” - Dr. Manoj LaluA study led by Drs. Manoj Lalu and Dean Fergusson published in EBioMedicine found that engaging patients in laboratory research is possible, and can benefit both the patients and the researchers. 

Patient engagement is an emerging practice where patient partners and researchers collaborate during the research process. This helps ensure research is relevant to patients, and more likely to improve care. 

While patient engagement in clinical research is becoming well established, little was known about the state of patient engagement in laboratory research before this study. The research team looked at all scientific articles that mentioned patient engagement in laboratory research, capturing 32 articles. 

Most studies engaged patients at the education or priority-setting stages. Benefits of patient engagement included mutual learning opportunities, building new skills, knowledge and interests, and improved research efficiency. Challenges included the differences in knowledge and research experience between collaborators, and recruiting a diverse group of patient partners. 

“Our findings should encourage laboratory researchers to explore new collaborations with patient partners,” said Dr. Manoj Lalu, anesthesiologist and associate scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa

The Ottawa Hospital is leading the way in patient engagement in research. Learn more about Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and the Ontario SPOR Support Unit and see this patient engagement toolkit from the Can-SOLVE CKD Network. 

Authors: Grace Fox, Dean A. Fergusson, Zeinab Daham, Mark Youssef, Madison Foster, Evelyn Poole, Ayni Sharif, Dawn P. Richards, Kathryn Hendrick, Asher A. Mendelson, Kimberly F. Macala, Zarah Monfaredi, Joshua Montroy, Kirsten M. Fiest, Justin Presseau, Manoj M. Lalu

Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research. All research at The Ottawa Hospital is also enabled by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Core Resources: Ottawa Methods Centre, Office for Patient Engagement in Research ActivitiesBLUEPRINT Translational Research Group

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

Media Contact
Amelia Buchanan
Senior Communication Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute