At the end of every single clinical trial journey is a patient – a person with hopes, responsibilities, ambitions, and dreams – with something to offer the world.
Although there has in the past been some resistance in the research community to using patient panels; recently, clinicians and researchers have come to realise the importance of getting patients more involved in the research that will ultimately benefit them.
There are many advantages to using patient panels in clinical trials:
They ensure that patients have influence over the services provided to them.
They give patients increased awareness of their overall care.
They give healthcare providers a clearer idea of what their patients need and expect.
They ensure that clinical staff have appropriate knowledge and training to deal with any issues.
They give the patient a voice not just for themselves, but for the wider community, and ensure that their needs are always represented.
They improve the integrity of a clinical trial.
They help combat misinformation about clinical research through transparency conveyed to the wider public by patients themselves.
Patients have much to contribute to the process to create more holistic results. Ultimately, patients and researchers working together for their mutual benefit can only serve to everyone's advantage and offer people – all of us – hope and possibilities.
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