DREAM Scientist Dr. Kristy Wittmeier (@kristywittmeier) contributed two important papers related to patient engagement this past month. Patient engagement and advisory contributions are critical to designing studies that are relevant to the patient populations being studied. Dr. Wittmeier and her colleagues at the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation have published two important papers in this area that could influence research for youth living with or at risk for type 2 diabetes. The first study, led by Carolyn Schimmin (@CarolynShimmin) describes the importance of conceptualizing patient engagement through a social justice and health equity lens. As many youth living with type 2 diabetes currently live in poverty and are racial minorities, they suffer from the social and institutional disparities that accompany poverty and minority status. These are critical aspects to consider when engaging these patients in research in their advisory role.
The second paper with colleague Katheryn Sibley (@kmsibley) interviewed 26 scientists in Manitoba about their experiences with knowledge translation (KT). Participants described the presence of good relationships with stakeholders as critical for achieving meaningful KT. Most scientists however expressed negative emotions associated with the practice of KT, particularly the lack of institutional support and the need for proper education and training in how to do KT properly. At DREAM, we have adopted a model of integrated KT whereby stakeholder and patient advisory groups were created to help guide our research vision. This work by Dr Wittmeier, reinforces the need for institutions and research teams to invest in training, support and resources to maximize the impact of their research discoveries.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!