Using the language of partnership

Publication Date: 
Friday, January 17, 2020

At the MSSU, we work closely with patients and caregivers to support their meaningful engagement in research. To better represent the active and engaged role these individuals play in patient-oriented research, we will now use the term ‘Patient Partner’ as opposed to ‘Patient Advisor.’

The language of partnership is increasingly used across the country by groups engaged in patient-oriented research, including the SPOR community, to reflect and encourage a more equitable relationship between patients and other stakeholders, and to empower patients to be more involved in the research design, implementation, and decision-making.

We decided to switch to the more inclusive term ‘Patient Partners’ after consulting with our Patient Partners and staff. The term ‘Patient Partner’ will always be written out using capital letters. 

We recognize that there are different ways to describe engagement with patients and caregivers, and stakeholders should feel free to use language that resonates with them.