Clinical research aims to improve the knowledge base in the prevention, treatment, care, and cure of disease while delivering good value for money and avoiding research waste.1 However, a wide gap exists between what generally receives funding and what patients, carers, and the public would like to see examined.2 3 4
There is, of course, a moral imperative to understand the priorities of those who may benefit from research. But incorporating patient perspectives more thoroughly into clinical research would also broaden its scope and help answer the research questions likely to bring about the biggest improvements in our understanding of disease.
Several problems underlie our current inability to make research relevant to patients and the wider public. Most importantly, research is a power rich and hierarchical environment in which successful clinical researchers are at the top and patients, carers, and the public are viewed as passive beneficiaries at the bottom. These power dynamics and the status quo