Co-building a patient-oriented research curriculum in Canada

Tim Bell*, Lidewij Eva Vat, Colleen McGavin, Malori Keller, Leah Getchell, Anna Rychtera, Nicolas Fernandez

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background Foundations in Patient-Oriented Research is a course designed and piloted in Canada to build mutually beneficial relationships for conducting patient-oriented research by ensuring that relevant stakeholders – patients, researchers, health care professionals and health system decision-makers – have a common foundational understanding of patient-oriented research, the research enterprise, and team dynamics. The curriculum was co-developed by a group of patients, researchers, patient engagement experts and curriculum development experts and involved consultations with broader groups of the relevant stakeholders mentioned above. It was designed to be delivered in a ‘co-learning format’ with classes comprised of all stakeholder groups learning together. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of individuals involved in the process of co-developing, piloting and revising Foundations in Patient-Oriented Research. Methods An embedded case study was conducted with individuals who were involved in the co-development, pilot and revision of Foundations in Patient-Oriented Research. These individuals took on different roles during the curriculum development process, including project co-lead, developer, facilitator, and patient co-facilitator. The constant comparison method was used to inductively develop themes from the two focus group sessions. Results Discussions from the focus groups revealed the value of co-building the content, co-facilitating the course sessions, and the importance of the co-learning format. The training itself was perceived as valuable and the systematic approach to co-development was perceived as a success. Several barriers were identified, including the amount of resources, time and commitment required to complete the project. There was a notable tension between maintaining the integrity of the content and having the freedom to adapt it to local contexts. Over the course of the project, the project co-leads, developers and facilitators found that their own understanding of patient-oriented research deepened. Conclusions The findings of this study suggest that co-developing a patient-oriented research curriculum increases its quality, uptake and credibility. The co-development process not only resulted in training that benefited the target learners, but also built capacity for patient-oriented research within the project co-leads, developers, facilitators and patient co-facilitators. Our findings and recommendations may provide guidance for other learning and development groups wishing to undertake a similar project.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7
    JournalResearch Involvement and Engagement
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


    • Co-production/co-produced research
    • Patient and public involvement
    • Patient engagement
    • Patient-oriented research
    • Shared learning
    • Training


    Dive into the research topics of 'Co-building a patient-oriented research curriculum in Canada'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this