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Building capability and capacity in health consumer engagement

Following a consumer engagement workshop at Metro South Health Research Partners Forum, BDHP is gathering a network of Queensland clinicians, researchers and health administrators interested in health consumer engagement. Our focus will be on building capability and capacity in this area, recognising its benefit to translational research.

In November 2020, at the Metro South Health Research Partners Forum, BDHP and  Jessica Taylor,  health consumer advocate and consumer advisor on the forum, led a workshop about consumer engagement in health research.

More than 40 clinicians, researchers and health administrators participated in the workshop. They identified some challenges in conducting consumer engagement. These included the need for:

  • Tools, resources and support to help researchers to engage with health consumers
  • Resources to offer compensation for health consumers’ time and input
  • Clear ethical guidelines for engaging with health consumers
  • More time to respond to research grant calls to allow consumer engagement earlier
  • Greater consumer understanding about the research process, the health system and clinical terminology
  • Avenues to reach relevant demographics, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, and disabled health consumers
  • Greater flexibility within the health and research systems to enable consumer engagement.

This group suggested a range of activities that could support researchers to engage with health consumers effectively, including:

  • Training for researchers and health consumers
  • Support in recruiting health consumers and in designing and implementing consumer engagement as part of their research project
  • Consumer engagement tools, resources and frameworks
  • A database of health consumers
  • Events for consumers to meet with researchers

The next steps for this work is to seek additional feedback on the identified activities and conducting further analysis on what tools and resources are currently available in Queensland across other jurisdictions through the Australian Health Research Alliance.

If you are interested in getting involved in a consumer and community engagement network, please email us at info@diamantina.org.au

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