Patient users area

Involvement of the public in research (Consumer Involvement)

Consumer Involvement in Research is a relatively new concept. It means working with the public to gain their input at all stages of the research process. It is very different to participating as a volunteer in actual research studies. In this context, a consumer is anyone who may potentially benefit from the research, for example patients, carers and members of the public.

Consumer Involvement is an important issue. A large amount of research is funded by public money, therefore it can be argued that consumers should have more influence over research. Documents that researchers are guided by, such as the Research Government Framework (Department of Health 2001) also highlight the importance of involving consumers in research. But perhaps more significantly, those who are potentially affected by research feel that Consumer Involvement is very important to them.

The Human Pain Research Group is committed to involving consumers in our research. We have consulted with consumers extensively in order to adopt the best strategy to achieve this. Currently we are lucky enough to have a number of people who are prepared to collaborate with us. We have subsequently formed a panel of consumers who provide their unique input to our studies, from conception to fruition.