Intro to Health Research for Patients

Resources for patients, caregivers and family members: 

Are you curious about health research and patient-oriented research?  Visit our About page to learn how these are a little different.

The BC SUPPORT Unit has curated a collection of resources that we have compiled to help you learn about this fascinating area, whether you're just starting out in understanding health research concepts, or developing your skills as a patient partner. Check out the collection of resources below. 

Do you know of another health research learning resource that we should include for patients? Contact us.

* Recommended if you're looking for comprehensive learning resources.

Resource Name What is it? Where did it come from? How do I get it? Click the following links.

Basic Research Concepts *

Online training modules to promote an understanding of basic research concepts Department of Health and Human Service | US
Considerations when paying patient partners in research A webpage by CIHR explaining SPOR Patient Partner compensation Canadian Institutes
of Health Research
Critical Appraisal: a checklist A checklist to learn how to review research articles Students for Best Evidence

Critical appraisal 

A tutorial to learn how to review research articles University of Exeter | UK
Decision Aids for Patient Partner Engagement with Clinical Trials Decision aids  aimed at helping people decide if they are ready to engage in patient-oriented research.  Clinical Trials Ontario
ECRAN Project (Understanding clinical trials) Website aims to make understanding clinical trials easy, and tells you all about taking part in them. European Communication on Research Awareness Needs
Evidence Essentials Free online resource offering an introduction to health evidence, and how to use it to make informed health choices.

Cochrane Training
Evidently Cochrane A blog for everyone who is interested in finding and using the best quality evidence to inform decisions about health.  Cochrane UK

Fundamentals of qualitative research methods: scientific rigor  (NOTE: series of 6 YouTube videos) *

6 video modules covering essential topics in qualitative research, including what it is qualitative research and how to use the most common methods, in-depth interviews and focus groups. Yale University | US
Getting Access to Paywalled Papers A blog that explains there are things that anyone can do to more easily access paywalled papers Holly Witteman, PhD
Guidance on authorship with and acknowledgement of patient partners in patient-oriented research A piece from the literature that is meant to facilitate conversations between researchers and patient partners about authorship and/or acknowledgement regarding research projects on which they collaborate. Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Chronic Pain Network
Health Research Ethics 101 A website that briefly describes health research ethics in Alberta. Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta

Health Research in Canada and You

A website explaining CIHR and health research in Canada. Canadian Institutes
of Health Research
How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. Patient Empowerment Network…

How to read and understand a scientific paper

A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. London School of Economics | UK

How to read a paper A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. British Medical Journal (BMJ)…

Including Patient Preferences to Assess the Balance of Benefits and Harms of Treatment Options for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions

A webpage about health research Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute | US
Interpreting Research Studies A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. Guttmacher Institute | US

Introduction to Patient-Oriented Research

A short video explaining patient-oriented research Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit

Introduction of Patient Review Alongside Traditional Peer Review at a General Medical Journal

A video about incorporating patient reviews into the traditional peer review process

Peer Review Congress…
Introduction to the James Lind Alliance: A Participatory Approach to Engage Patients, Caregivers and Clinicians in Priority Setting Partnerships, part 1 A blog post outlining the James Lind Alliance approach Knowledge Nudge blog, Manitoba SPOR SUPPORT Unit…
The James Lind Alliance: An Overview of the Process of Priority Setting Partnerships, part 2  A blog post outlining the James Lind Alliance approach Knowledge Nudge blog, Manitoba SPOR SUPPORT Unit…
James Lind Alliance Guidebook A training guidebook James Lind Alliance | UK
James Lind Alliance: Identifying the Top 10 Canadian Research Priorities for Fibromyalgia –     a Patient’s Perspective A blog post recounting a patient’s involvement in priority setting Knowledge Nudge blog, Manitoba SPOR SUPPORT Unit

Key Concepts for assessing claims about treatment effects

A website of key concepts people need to understand to be able to assess claims about the effects of treatments.

Testing Treatments international…
Know the Science * Tools to help you better understand complex scientific topics that relate to health research National Institutes of Health | US
Knowledge Nudge Blog A blog about patient-oriented research. Manitoba SUPPORT Unit
Making Sense of Medical Research Studies A webpage about health research. Canadian Women's Health Network
Methodology 101:Training For Patients and Stakeholders  A training booklet about health research at PCORI. PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute | US…

Patient Engagement in Health Research: A How-to Guide for Patients

Guidebook for patients interested in getting involved in health research


Patient-Oriented Research in Child Health  Online training modules to learn about pediatric patient-oriented research. Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program

Patient-Oriented Research Training and Learning – Primary Health Care (PORTL-PHC) *

Online training modules to learn about patient-oriented research. PORTL-PHC is an Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit-funded initiative and was developed with the support of INSPIRE-PHC, CRaNHR and the Patient Engagement Resource Centre.…
Patient & Public Engagement Aging, Community and Health Research Unit McMaster University

Public Co-Applicants in Research – guidance on roles and responsibilities * A document to help understand what's needed for the public and researchers to work together INVOLVE | UK

Public Information Pack Documents to learn about health research. INVOLVE | UK…

Quality Improvement vs Research

Webpage explaining the difference between QI and Research Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute
Research Fundamentals: Preparing You to Successfully Contribute to Research * Free comprehensive training offers different ways to learn about the health research process and be involved in patient-centered outcomes research PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute | US

Scientific evidence: what is it and how can we trust it?

A webpage about health research The Conversation Canada…

Training on Research Processes * Online training modules about health research. Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network
Understanding Health Research * A comprehensive website explaining health research. University of Glasgow | UK
Understanding Health Research

Health Research website

Understanding Research platform

Understanding Medical Research

A collection of resources about health research. National Library of Medicine | US
What is Health Research? * Free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): If you’re interested in  health research, this course will help to answer your questions. University of Leeds & NIHR | UK

What Patients and Families Need to Know

A collection of resources about patient-oriented research. Ontario SUPPORT Unit…
Who, me? Yes, you! Becoming a Patient Partner in Health Research  A video explaining how patients can get involved in patient-oriented research. BC SUPPORT Unit…

* Recommended if you're looking for comprehensive learning resources.