Volunteer engagement to inform research on cardiovascular health awareness, Canada Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Volunteers have been extensively used in health promotion programmes. However, they have been less frequently involved in the research process. In its most recent iterations, the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP) integrated volunteers (i) to facilitate CHAP sessions with participating patients for data collection and (ii) to evaluate the intervention. Drawing on the patient and public involvement literature, our research team included volunteers in the data collection and evaluation of CHAP sessions as part of the programme’s implementation in the province of Quebec (Canada). We sought volunteers’ formal feedback through individual online and phone interviews and through focus groups for each of the four projects conducted in Quebec. We found that volunteers provide valuable insight on the research protocol as well as patient needs. Their feedback led to several modifications to the research protocol and procedures of subsequent CHAP sessions. Changes included involving volunteers at earlier stages of the research process, adding more learning modules and practice sessions during the volunteer training and defining research priorities according to patient needs. Our methodology of engaging volunteers in the research process was useful to gain important and unique insight on patient needs and for future programme planning to modify the research process.

publication date

  • December 1, 2020