With an increasing interest from patients, their families and communities in health research to raise the standard of care and treatment in Australia, public consultation is considered an important way to engage the wider public in new research projects.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) published a statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research in 2016, which can serve as a guide to the participation of consumers in research design, performance and translation.
Project specific advice on how to involve people in research can also be provided by the Consumer & Community Health Research Network.
A consumer advocate from the Consumer & Community Health Research Network is available on the Fremantle campus for assistance in research project development inclusive of the consumer perspective on the research proposal to represent a voice of the community. Researchers are encouraged to make use of the opportunity to receive support in partnering with consumers and community members and make decisions about health research priorities, policy and practice.
Individual or (patient) group involvement in research can improve decision-making on what and/or how to study a prioritised topic, recruitment of study participants, dissemination of study findings to the wider public and providing input on how to proceed with continued research.
As part of an application for human research ethics approval at Notre Dame, researchers are encouraged to consult relevant leaders or representatives of (patient) groups or communities affected by the proposed research.
The Research Office can be contacted for further advice and information.