Building Meaningful Patient Engagement in Research

Nathaniel T. Warren, James A. Gaudino, Sonja Likumahuwa-Ackman, Kristin DIckerson, Lynn Robbins, Kathy Norman, John Lind, Sele D'Amato, Perry Foley, Rachel Gold, Vance Bauer, Scott A. Fields, Deborah J. Cohen, Khaya D. Clark, Jennifer E. Devoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Strategies to engage patients to improve and enhance research and clinical care are increasingly being implemented in the United States, yet little is known about best practices for or the impacts of meaningful patient engagement. Objective: We describe and reflect on our patient stakeholder groups, engagement framework, experiences, and lessons learned in engaging patients in research, from generating proposal ideas to disseminating findings. Setting: The ADVANCE (Accelerating Data Value Across a National Community Health Center Network) clinical data research network is the nation's largest clinical dataset on the safety net, with outpatient clinical data from 122 health systems (1109 clinics) in 23 states. Results: Patients stakeholders codeveloped the ADVANCE engagement framework and its implementation in partnership with network leaders. In phase I of ADVANCE, patients were involved with designing studies (input on primary outcome measures and methods) and usability testing (of the patient portal). In phase II, the network is prioritizing research training, dissemination opportunities, an "ambassador" program to pair more experienced patient stakeholders with those less experienced, and evaluation of engagement activities and impacts. Discussion: The ADVANCE framework for patient engagement has successfully involved a diverse group of patients in the design, implementation, and interpretation of comparative effectiveness research. Our experience and framework can be used by other organizations and research networks to support patient engagement activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S58-S63
JournalMedical care
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • consumer engagement
  • patient-centered outcomes research
  • primary health care
  • underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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