Patient organisations' views, motivations and experiences on patient involvement in cancer research: A pilot study in Portugal

Constança Roquette, Sofia Crisóstomo, Tamara Milagre, Rute Simões Ribeiro, Ana Rita Pedro, André Valente

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Abstract

Objectives To characterise Portuguese cancer-related patient organisations and analyse their views, motivations and experiences on patient involvement in cancer research. Design A multistakeholder group, comprising patient representatives and researchers, codesigned a questionnaire after a literature review, online sessions and collaborative mind maps. In May 2021, a survey was conducted among representatives of Portuguese cancer-related patient organisations, focusing on four dimensions: experience in cancer research; perception of its outcomes; motivations and expectations on patient involvement in research; and organisation characteristics. Participants Twenty-seven representatives from Portuguese cancer-related patient organisations responded to the questionnaire, corresponding to a 64% response rate. Results Among the surveyed organisations, 26% have participated in clinical studies. Their involvement occurred in few stages of the research process and, mostly, with low levels of engagement. They showed 'great interest' in participating in most research steps, although this is not reflected in a high perception of influence over these same steps. More than half claimed to have contributed to the increase in patient recruitment and to a better understanding of informed consent by patients involved. Ensuring that research results are more aligned with the true needs of patients is the greatest motivation. Also, our results suggest that the organisation's number of employees and its integration into a European/International network play a relevant role in patient involvement in research. Conclusions This study provides the first in-depth characterisation of Portuguese cancer-related patient organisations and their views, motivations and experiences on patient involvement in cancer research. Most importantly, this study revealed that most of these organisations show great interest in being involved in different R&D stages to ensure that research results are aligned with patients' needs. Their motivation should be turned into greater and more meaningful involvement in practice, so that the cancer community can benefit from the outcomes of truly patient-centred research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere077444
JournalBMJ Open
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • ONCOLOGY
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient-Centered Care

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