The question we raise in this paper is, whether patient involvement might be a beneficial way to help determine and achieve the aims of translational (TR) research and, if so, how to proceed. TR is said to ensure a more effective movement (‘translation’) of basic scientific findings to relevant and useful clinical applications. In view of the fact that patients are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of such translation and also have relevant knowledge based on their experience, listening to their voice early on in the innovation process might very well increase the effectiveness of the translation. After explaining how the concept of TR emerged and what it entails, this paper shows through a literature review which arguments have been put forward to promote patient involvement in health care research in a more general sense. We examine whether, and if so how, these arguments are relevant for the discourse on TR and we identify pitfalls and dilemmas. Ultimately, we conclude that it may be worthwhile to experiment with patient involvement in TR but that the design of such involvement requires careful consideration.
- Translational research
- Patient involvement
- Patient participation
- Patient experiential knowledge
- Patient involvement in research
- Patient participation in science