Involving Consumers in Health and Medical Research: A practical handbook for organisations, researchers, consumers and funders

The value of involving consumers in health and medical research cannot be underestimated. Consumer and community involvement (CCI) brings a unique perspective to all areas of research including planning, policy, funding, evaluation and reporting, as well as participation in the research project.

WAHTN has developed a CCI Handbook as part of an Australian Health Research Alliance national initiative funded by the Medical Research Future Fund, with additional support from our partners. It complements the rich suite of consumer involvement research, frameworks, policies and toolkits that have been developed by governments and organisations Australia-wide and internationally, and addresses a key barrier to embedding CCI: how to start.

“This Handbook is the essential resource for all those who are serious about involving consumers in health and medical research.”

– Professor Gary Geelhoed MBBS, FRACP, FACEM, MD: Executive Director, WAHTN

Four interlocked puzzle pieces with the words "organisation", "researcher", "funder" and "consumer"

This Handbook recognises four stakeholders in the CCI ecosystem: organisations, researchers, consumers and funders. The unique symbiotic relationship between these stakeholders is at the heart of successful consumer involvement.

The Handbook contains:

  • The Five Phases for successful embedding of Consumer Involvement:
    • Phase 1 – Commitment
    • Phase 2 – Planning and Preparation
    • Phase 3 – Managing for Success
    • Phase 4 – Evaluating the Involvement
    • Phase 5 – Concluding the Involvement
  • The Steps: Clear steps for each phase for each stakeholder
  • The Tools: Practical resources to support each step

“When consumers are included as a valued part of the team, they provide a different way of looking at the research which benefits the researcher, the research organisation and, ultimately, the health consumer.”

– George Kiossoglou: Consumer Representative, WEHI and Melbourne Academic Centre for Health

Download the full Handbook

Front cover of the Handbook with the title "Involving Consumers in Health and Medical Research"

Involving Consumers in Health and Medical Research: A practical handbook for organisations, researchers, consumers and funders [5MB, PDF]

Download the Quick Guide

Steps for Consumer and Community Involvement [0.9MB, PDF]

Download the individual stakeholder section