What is Patient-Oriented Research?

Patient-oriented research is research done in partnership with patients and their families and caregivers, that answers research questions that matter to patients, and aims to improve health care.

The vision of CIHR’s SPOR initiative includes two critical elements. The first is patient-oriented research teams which include patients and family members as partners in the grant writing and research process. The second is the inclusion of decision makers (including policy makers and health authority leaders) and health care practitioners throughout the research process.

The goal of this way of doing research is to have patients, families, clinicians, researchers and policy-makers work together to identify research topics, do the research and then use the results of that research to improve patient care and the health system.

Why is Patient-Oriented Research Important?

Patient involvement has been shown to guide research to more relevant questions, improve data collection methods, and improve data interpretation. Patients also have a role to play in knowledge translation. The contribution of health care practitioners and decision makers helps guide the research on a practical, sustainable path and their involvement in research speeds up the process of translating new knowledge into policy and to the bedside.

To learn more about organizing a patient-oriented research team, see our Researchers Page.

Are you interested in getting involved as a patient or family member? See our Patients Page.