Shifting to Writing for the Emerging Patient-Centered Research Paradigm

For those of you who are interested in patient-centered research, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a report that may be of interest to you: Partnering with Patients to Drive Shared Decisions, Better Value, and Care Improvement – Workshop Proceedings. This report has an accompanying four-page meeting summary, as well, and I would recommend this summary not just for its content, but for its utility as a writing model for those strategic communicators new to the area of patient-centered research.

The obvious challenges of expanding into the patient-centered research paradigm for those who have been working in the more traditional research model include identifying and leveraging collaborative relationships, working with new analytic measurements and tools, and managing large teams that include stakeholders. The additional challenge of developing written proposals in the context of a new paradigm can surprise some researchers and proposal writers. The perspective of a proposal written in the patient-centered research paradigm can be quite different from the perspective one might use for a more traditional research approach. For example, subtle changes to language, like the use of “we” to mean researchers AND patients, signal the project embraces the new paradigm and aligns with the funding entity’s mission.

Using models of communication in a new field is a strategic way to learn to develop your own effective communication techniques in that field. With the emergence of patient-centered research as a research paradigm with significant financial support, research proposal writers who integrate the ideas underlying the new paradigm into their proposal development will produce the most competitive and effective proposals.

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