Health consumers have a strong interest in supporting health and medical research, and maintaining and building a viable, internationlly competitive research sector, as we wll utimately benefit from the outcomes of research.
APMA is committed to evidence-based pain management treatment, and strongly supports research to increase the range and effectiveness of treatments and clinical interventions, ensure resources are reserved for effective treatments and improve the quality of life fpr people living with chronic pain.
APMA has argued strongly for many years that pain (and other health) research will be enhanced through the increased involvement of consumers. As the end users of health and medical research, consumers can provide valuable input to decisions about research policies and practices. If such research is to continue to provide high quality outcomes, it is important that consumer and community involvement in research and its ongoing development is facilitated.
This includes participation by consumers as partners in the development of research priorities, goals, questions, strategies, methodologies and information dissemination.
Research methods and results that are open to informed public scrutiny and debate also help to ensure the integrity of research and accountability to the community for the quality of the research. Consumer and community participation in research brings with it responsibilities for consumers, community members and researchers — the responsibilityto be respectful of each other's knowledge, to share information with each other about research issues, and to be open about potential interests in the outcomes of research (such as a consumer's individual health or the researcher's financial benefits from a funder). The shared responsibility of consumers, community members and researchers is to ensure that ethical requirements are met and that there is value to the research.
As one researcher has commented, "The better that common experience is understood, the greater the potential for research to find application."