Successful Consumer Engagement Workshops for TCRN Members

24 February 2017

Another successful Consumer Engagement Workshop for TCRN Members with the the TCRN’s Consumer Advisory Panel

The TCRN has completed another round of successful consumer engagement workshops with their Consumer Advisory Panel ("CAP") this year. This two-part intensive workshop series (November 2016 & February 2017) featured new research ideas and interactions between consumers and researchers.

A great mix of eleven presenters at the workshops, included highly experienced clinicians and researchers as well as junior researchers, seeking consumer input for their funding applications and new research plans.

The researchers and clinicians submitted their abstracts in lay terms as well as specific questions for consumers in advance of the first workshop in November 2016, giving consumers ample time to review research questions and to provide feedback.

Researchers were invited to follow-up at the second consumer workshop in February. This time their research plans and grant applications were much more developed and refined, demonstrating that that they had incorporated the consumer feedback from the first workshop. From a personal perspective, the advice that the consumer panel provided me with yesterday was really helpful and has enabled me to think about how I might reframe the significance element of the grantsaid Professor Jane Phillips, Director, Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Professor Phillips has participated in both TCRN Consumer Engagement Workshops. Following the workshop presentations, two TCRN consumers volunteered to partner with Professor Philips’ pain assessment project for in-depth and ongoing involvement and they met face-to-face. 

Professor Elizabeth Sullivan and Dr Tina Chen of UTS, had team representation at both workshops and were matched with two TCRN consumers, commented that it [the consumer workshop] was very informative and of assistance to the development of the project”. “We have found the experience extremely valuable in ensuring the relevance of our work – that it meets the needs of consumers.

Following the presentation of her project on psychological treatments for people with advanced melanoma, UNSW Associate Professor Nadine Kasparian expressed the benefits of the workshop: I really enjoyed the workshop yesterday, especially meeting the many wonderful people who generously donated their time and thought to our projects”. Asc. Professor Kasparian was matched with another TCRN consumer for ongoing partnership and they have already made plans for the consumer’s role on the project’s Advisory Committee.

The TCRN’s consumer engagement activities provide researchers with opportunities to receive feedback from individual consumer partners and the CAP collectively. More importantly, researchers are enabled to develop meaningful, collaborative relationships with consumers. 

TCRN Consumer Workshop Feb 2017

The TCRN CAP consists of 12 members who are personally affected by cancer as a patient or a carer and are research trained by Cancer Council NSW or Cancer Council. The CAP, an in-house consumer panel, was established in 2012.