Module 1


Who are consumers in health research?

Safer Care Victoria and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) define health consumers as the users or potential users of health services. This definition also includes family members/carers and broader members of the community. Consumers can be any stakeholder that will be impacted by a healthcare improvement or research project and can include health professionals, managers and staff from the organisations involved. Community may be defined as a group of people sharing a common interest (eg cultural, social, political, health, economic interests) but not necessarily a particular geographic association. Different types of communities are likely to have different perspectives and approaches to their involvement in healthcare improvement or research projects.

In this video, Susan Brunton, Health Advocate and Carer, describes her experience of being involved in research.

They asked a number of parents and carers if they would like to form part of a parent and carer engagement group…although I had some hesitation about being involved in research, as I saw it not being particularly relevant to me or to the lives of the kids, I embraced it, I decided to go with it. The parent and carer group then shaped the research, and we spent a lot of time meeting. It was just a delightful experience to have some influence over the direction in which the research should head.
Susan Brunton
Health Advocate and Carer