ACTA's commitment to enhancing consumer involvement and engagement in clinical trials was the subject of presentations by ACTA Board members Anne McKenzie AM and Prof John Zalcberg OAM as part of a highly engaging session on 'Consumers as Researchers' at the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) Shifting Gears 2021 Summit, held online on 18-19 March. Live streaming of the session was jointly sponsored by ACTA and the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA).
John Zalcberg emphasized the critical place of clinical trials in a learning and self-improving healthcare system, while Anne McKenzie gave an overview of some of ACTA’s key activities and achievements to date, particularly the mapping of international best practice in consumer involvement. The Consumer Involvement & Engagement Toolkit, a joint initiative between ACTA and CT:IQ that resulted from that mapping exercise, became a particular focus of discussion in the live online chat accompanying subsequent presentations during the session. The Toolkit was referred to and recommended by a number of participants, and a link to the Toolkit was provided for others interested in exploring its resources further.
Other presentations in the ‘Consumers as Researchers’ stream included an outline by Assoc Prof Angela Todd of Sydney Health Partners, representing the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA), of interesting work to develop models for assessing the impact of consumer and community involvement in research.