Engaging citizens in research communication – Priceless!
The research conducted at our universities is done for the benefit of our citizens. Particular research findings can have the potential to lead to especially great impact for particular citizens. If we can get some of those persons involved in communication linked to that research, the impact can be great and wide.
At Swedish national research centre The University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care – GPCC, we have a Person Council for patients and carers. The Council’s main purpose is to validate GPCCs activities and research from a patient and carer perspective, i.e. public involvement. But, working in the true spirit of person-centredness, it soon became a natural step to make use of some of the council members’ individual resources to co-create education and communication ideas, content and activities related to person-centred care, i.e. public engagement.
These Person Council members have made great, literally invaluable, contributions to the spread of information about and argumentation for a change to person-centred care, which is now being implemented in over half of Sweden’s Regions. They have become truly amazing ambassadors for person-centred care and GPCC, and manage to reach out in ways that the centre could not have done without them. Based on their individual stories they can argue for the need of a change to person-centred care, which, in combination with the centre’s research findings, becomes a very powerful package.
Jeanette Tenggren Durkan is Centre Co-ordinator for the University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care, where she mainly works with communication and events. She has a background in culture and museums, but has worked in universities in Sweden and The UK for more than 15 years now.