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Open Access Highly Accessed Short report

Operationalising a model framework for consumer and community participation in health and medical research

Carla Saunders12*, Sally Crossing3, Afaf Girgis14, Phyllis Butow5 and Andrew Penman2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Wallsend NSW, 2287, Australia

2 The Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo NSW, 2011, Australia

3 Cancer Voices NSW, Greenwich NSW, 2065, Australia

4 Centre for Health Research & Psycho-oncology (CHeRP), The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle & Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle NSW, 2287, Australia

5 Medical Psychology Research Unit, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, 2006, Australia

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Australia and New Zealand Health Policy 2007, 4:13  doi:10.1186/1743-8462-4-13

Published: 26 June 2007

Abstract

The Consumers' Health Forum of Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council has recently developed a Model Framework for Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research in order to better align health and medical research with community need, and improve the impact of research. Model frameworks may have little impact on what goes on in practice unless relevant organisations actively make use of them. Philanthropic and government bodies have reported involving consumers in more meaningful or collaborative ways of late. This paper describes how a large charity organisation, which funds a significant proportion of Australian cancer research, operationalised the model framework using a unique approach demonstrating that it is both possible and reasonable for research to be considerate of public values.