Reconceptualizing patient engagement within research contexts through a relational approach

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Richard Hovey


Currently within the Canadian research landscape, inclusion of patients as partners, research ambassadors have become part of the fabric for research funding;"nothing about me without me". My recent personal experiences at pain conferences and from research team meetings as a patient or more precisely, a person living with chronic pain (PLCP), who is also an academic researcher, suggest we need to evolve a philosophy of engagement that serves both the PLCPs as research ambassadors, rather than patent partners.


This presentation is intended to open up conversations about the role of patient experience and the interconnections needed to build strong research communities, through a consideration of a whole person care relational model. In order to meaningfully locate and describe the role of the patient within the structure of a scientific research community I turn to Merleau-Ponty who aptly described the two main perspectives from which we research as, “[t]he world and man [human-beings] are accessible through two kinds of investigations, in the first case explanatory [scientific] and in the second case reflective [philosophical]”. Suggesting, that the language and relationships the emerge and nurtured within research communities need a shared understanding derived from a relational approach rather than a business model of efficiency, experts and teams. A relational approach works toward co-creating a sense of belonging and purpose rather than mere inclusion to meet research funding application criteria. The focus of this presentation is to explore how to co-create a relational approach for researchers with people living with chronic pain.


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How to Cite
Hovey, R. (2020). Reconceptualizing patient engagement within research contexts through a relational approach. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 7(1), 18–19.
Congress 2019

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