The OHSU and OCHIN Research teams recently collaborated on a blog post with three Patient Engagement Panel (PEP) members to explore why they became Patient Investigators.
“Traditionally, research is thought of as something that people with PhDs in “ivory towers” do to people in the general public. They create a hypothesis and then test it out on research subjects (think Milgram, Zimbardo, clinical drug trials, etc.). But, there is emerging in scientific research and academia a more interactive, more informed style of research participation from the public where individuals serve as Patient Investigators. These are people who are living with a condition (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) or are knowledgeable on a topic that researchers are studying and can offer insight with their experiences. These are people whose role is to inform the researchers of the issues surrounding a given topic, provide insight into what they would like to see discussed, and offer ideas on how they feel a subject should be studied. The voice of an individual living with a condition is an invaluable asset because it allows the researcher the opportunity to truly understand the impact that research can have on a population and how to accurately study the population. It also brings research out of the “ivory tower” and allows people who the research affects into the discussion not as subjects, but as equals. Today, we here at Community Research Laboratory are proud to introduce three OCHIN Patient Investigators and their stories, in their words.”