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Can you hear me? Giving patients a voice in medical publications

Can you hear me? Giving patients a voice in medical publications

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Gone are the days when patients were mere passive recipients of medical decisions! Today, patients are active participants in their healthcare journey and seeking information and involvement in decision-making. This shift has not only reshaped patient care but also impacted how medical information is communicated.

Traditionally, medical publications and updates on trends have been authored and disseminated primarily by healthcare professionals and researchers. Now, a more prominent role for the patient voice can enable a better understanding of healthcare services and delivery at both patient and population levels. Embracing patient voices in medical publications and updates on current medical trends can offer a fresh perspective and humanise medical information. Patients can provide valuable insights into their experiences, encouraging them to become clinical research advocates. This inspires excitement and appreciation for the opportunity to share their feedback about clinical research with stakeholders who can improve the patient healthcare experience.

What can you do?

There are many ways to include the patient voice in medical publications.

* Seamless integration: Patient insights should span the entire process, from design to evaluation, ensuring holistic representation.

* Author and reviewer roles: Patients can actively participate as authors or reviewers, ensuring clarity and simplicity in conveying information.

* Real stories Patient narratives, testimonials, and quotes breathe life into medical content, enhancing relatability and engagement. The American Heart Association (AHA) engages lay stakeholder volunteers with experience as a survivor, or related family member, caregiver, or advocate for health and wellbeing.

What are the benefits?

Here are some specific benefits of including the patient voice in medical publications:

* Enhanced accuracy and relevance: Patient experiences enrich content accuracy, ensuring alignment with their real-world needs.

* Increased patient engagement and satisfaction: When patients feel like their voices are heard, they are more likely to be engaged in their own treatment and satisfied with their care.

* Improved communication between patients and healthcare professionals: Bridging patient and healthcare professional perspectives improves communication and informed decision-making.

In order to maximise the impact of patient-centred publications, it is crucial to ensure accessibility of articles for patients. Thus, authors should publish predominantly in open-access journals. In addition, presenting publications in various formats like print, online, audio and using plain language without jargon is key.

In conclusion, the patient voice is a transformative force in medical publications. Its integration reflects the modern healthcare paradigm, where patients are active collaborators. By weaving patient stories into clinical data, we build a more informed, holistic, and empathetic healthcare system. If you’re involved in medical publications, consider embracing the patient voice a simple step with profound implications for healthcare communication.

At Elion, we offer medical writing services that break through complex terminology, facilitating better understanding between patients and traditional medical language. Get in touch today.

Anita Jagroop-Dearing