Who is a Patient?

The following is a helpful explanation of patient-oriented research from the Patient Advisors Network

Patients and caregivers are actively partnering in health research globally -- and Canada is no exception.


It is still important that we continue to be subjects of research.

As partners, patients and caregivers are helping to set research priorities, to evaluate research, and to partner on research teams. Researchers are starting to value the perspective of patients and caregivers as an essential piece of the research puzzle.

Patient and family involvement in health research

Patient-oriented research engages patients (or those with lived health experience including caregivers) as partners in the research process and focuses on patient-identified priorities towards improving patient outcomes. It is conducted by multidisciplinary teams, made up of clinicians, patients and their families and/or caregivers, policy makers and researchers and aims to apply the knowledge generated to improve health care systems and practices.

SCPOR supports research that follows this model. Patients and families will still be research participants; however, additional roles and opportunities for patients and families will be created on research teams.


How are patients and family members involved in SCPOR’s work?

This graphic shows a few of the ways patients and family members are actively involved with SCPOR. Patients are instrumental in co-designing, co-organizing, spear-heading, and co-hosting a number of our initiatives.

Without their valuable contribution, this important work could not be done.


What does the term "patient" mean in the context of patient-oriented research?

“Patient” is an overarching term which includes individuals with personal experience of a health issue as well as informal caregivers, including family and friends. It may also include community/public representatives, individuals from patient organizations, and others who have experience with illness.

There are many other terms that can be used interchangeably with the word patient. We encourage you to use the term that you feel most comfortable with. This may include patient, client, resident, person with lived experience, family member, community member, etc.


Want to learn more?

We suggest you check out our Information for Patients & Communities section below!

Learn more about Patient-Oriented Research…

From the perspective of an engaged patient!


Watch more on the SCPOR YouTube channel!

Ready to get involved?