Patient and Caregiver Experiences and Attitudes about Their Involvement in Research in Chronic Kidney Disease

Talia Gutman, Ayano Kelly, Nicole Scholes-Robertson, Jonathan C. Craig, Shilpanjali Jesudason, Allison Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although patient and caregiver involvement in research is widely advocated to improve the relevance and uptake of study findings, barriers and uncertainties in achieving this goal remain. This study aimed to describe patient and caregiver experiences and perspectives of their previous involvement in research, to inform strategies to strengthen patient involvement in research. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 23 adult patients with CKD and caregivers who had previously been involved in research, from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. Transcripts were analyzed thematically. RESULTS: We identified six themes: grappling with CKD diagnosis (overwhelmed by the burden of illness, silenced by stigma and shame, absence of advocacy, and awareness), bearing the responsibility for involvement (autonomy in their own care, forced to be proactive to access opportunities, infrastructural support to connect researchers and patients), battling big agendas (struggling in a system of disincentive, changing research culture, becoming equals), seeing the person behind the patient (harnessing broader knowledge, expertise, skills and interests, understanding patient needs, motivations for involvement), sensitivity to complexities of payment (accounting for individual circumstances, denoting value, enabling diverse involvement), and championing the patient voice (links to important stakeholders, drivers of innovation, responsibility to end users). CONCLUSIONS: The burden of CKD, limited opportunities, and power asymmetry between patients/caregivers and researchers were challenges to meaningful involvement in research. Building trust, awareness of opportunities, and recognizing the broad expertise and value of patients/caregivers, including and beyond their illness experience, may better support patient and caregiver involvement in research in CKD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • chronic kidney disease
  • consumer engagement
  • consumer involvement
  • patient engagement
  • patient involvement
  • patient partnership


Dive into the research topics of 'Patient and Caregiver Experiences and Attitudes about Their Involvement in Research in Chronic Kidney Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this