Evidence Library

Title: The experiential knowledge of patients: a new resource for biomedical research?
Author: Caron-Flinterman, J., Broerse, J. & Bunders, J.
Date Published: 2005
Reference: Social Science & Medicine, 60, 2575-2584.
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known


This article reflects on whether patients' experience and knowledge is of value to biomedical research. A theoretical analysis proved inconclusive. The authors therefore carried out a review of real-life examples of where patients have influenced biomedical research. This involved a literature review and over 60 interviews with scientists, patients, representatives of patient organisations and health professionals in the Netherlands and the UK.

Nine concrete examples were found where patients' experiential knowledge had been translated into demands, ideas or judgements of biomedical research. The authors therefore conclude that patients can make a valuable contribution to this type of research. However they also recommend that new structures and greater interaction between researchers and patients would be needed to make involvement more effective and more widespread. It would also require more work into finding ways of overcoming current barriers.

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Related entry: none currently available

Categories: health
Identifying topics, prioritising and commissioning
impact on research
impact of public involvement
journal article

Date Entered: 2007/02/22

Date Edited: 2012/11/21

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