What is a consumer?
The medical research landscape is increasingly becoming more reliant on the voices of the community to guide the direction of research. OPUS has developed a Consumer Engagement Program to facilitate the partnership of consumers and researchers. The incorporation of consumers in OPUS projects ensures that medical research is of public interest and addresses the most critical issues in the community.
OPUS welcomes interested members of the public with little-to-no scientific background, of any age and gender, to participate in various activities related to the critiquing of research design, grant applications and providing feedback on research findings.
As an invaluable community voice, consumer participation will be tiered according to their chosen level of engagement and training support will be provided to guide participants.
What’s the benefit of a consumer?
Participants working as a consumer representative is beneficial for our research: they become our advocates with a better understanding of the research landscape and act as a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ who could potentially see the bigger picture that researchers may miss.
Consumers can contribute to various aspects of medical research:
- Strategic planning, priority setting, redesigning the delivery of research
- Raise important issues
- Provide community perspective on research deliverables such as new tools
- Provide insight on factors that directly relate to patients
What is their purpose within OPUS?
OPUS is looking to incorporate more consumers within orthopaedic research to shape health care policies and practices. Our work is focused on improving patient outcomes by examining the entire osteoarthritis management journey. This is a large undertaking that can only succeed in producing practical outcomes by engaging with consumers to ensure that the research matches community expectations.
What will consumers be doing in the program?
The role of the consumer will be to:
- Challenge the teams with a different perspective
- Represent the community sentiment
- Provide constructive feedback:
- Improve transparency
- Remove jargon
- Improve patient information, communication methods with patients/community, patient interactions with research
- Improve awareness and understanding of osteoarthritis research
How consumers provide these values depends on the level of engagement that recruits select. Learn more about how the program works and what a consumer at a specific Tier will do on the Engagement Program page.