We realize that some of the engagement elements that are described in the application may change significantly by the time a project is ready to begin. That is why we are now asking research awardees to submit their updated Engagement Plan within six months following the start of their project. The updated Engagement Plan template was developed to assist awardees with organizing this information.
This template is a resource to help research teams move from the planning stage to developing a roadmap for executing engagement activities. We hosted a webinar, which is available for viewing on our website, to guide applicants and awardees in using the new template.
Changes happen in engagement plans from the application stage to starting the project. This can reflect a refinement in thinking about the study’s needs and can result in changes to the composition of the stakeholders who are involved, the restructuring of advisory boards and governance committees, or the methods for engaging stakeholders and evaluating engagement.
The updated Engagement Plan also helps PCORI better understand engagement activities so that we may closely examine the relationships between engagement and study outcomes.
Annette Totten, PhD, MPA, and Angela Combe, from a PCORI study team at Oregon Health and Science University, were among the first users of this tool. “Because our research topic is advanced care planning in primary care, patients and families play a very important part,” they wrote. “We also have clinicians who have to be engaged in order for this to work. We can’t imagine doing this without them, but it’s also very challenging trying to figure out how to structure their input. Our plans for engagement were outlined in our application, but 12 pages doesn’t really give you enough space to get into the details. We used the updated Engagement Plan template as a way to lay out the details similar to how studies develop a research protocol to detail the intervention.”
In addition to being a useful planning tool for awardees, the updated Engagement Plan also helps PCORI better understand engagement activities so that we may closely examine the relationships between engagement and study outcomes. As innovators and leaders in the field of patient and stakeholder engagement, we’re constantly examining and refining best practices and then reporting those back to the research community and the public.