What Patients Prioritize for Research to Improve Their Lives and How Their Priorities Get Dismissed again

Barbara Groot*, Annyk Haveman, Mireille Buree, Ruud van Zuijlen, Juliette van Zuijlen, Tineke Abma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Health researchers increasingly work with patients in a participatory fashion. Active patient involvement throughout the research process can provide epistemic justice to patients who have often only had an informant role in traditional health research. This study aims to conduct participatory research on patient experiences to create a solid research agenda with patients and discuss it with relevant stakeholders. We followed a participatory research design in 18 sub-studies, including interviews and group sessions (n = 404 patients), and dialogue sessions (n = 367 professionals and directors in healthcare and social work, municipality civil servants, and funding agencies) on patient experiences with psychiatric care, community care, daycare, public health, and social work. Findings from the eight-year study show that four priorities stood out: Attention for misuse of power and abuse; meaningful participation; non-human assistance, and peer support. Moreover, that: (1) patients, based on their experiences, prioritize different topics than experts; (2) most topics are trans-diagnostic and point to the value of a cross-disability approach; and (3) the priorities of patients are all too easily dismissed and require ethics work to prevent epistemic injustice. Long-term investment in a transdisciplinary community of practice offers a solid basis for addressing patient-centered topics and may impact the quality of life of people living with chronic illness, disability, or vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1927
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

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