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Table 6 Relationship maintenance challenges and strategies reported by investigators and research partners

From: Researchers, patients, and other stakeholders’ perspectives on challenges to and strategies for engagement

Relationship maintenance
Examples of Specific Strategies
Investigators • Being responsive to diverse partner perspectives and using their guidance • Develop group facilitation skills
• Adapt engagement goals in response to partners’ needs
• Practice or learn skills in active listening, giving everyone a voice, facilitating respectful dialogue, navigating differences of opinion
• Ensure research project goals match the capabilities and priority populations served by partner organizations
Investigators and partners • Having shared language of research terminology and concepts
• Maintaining diverse partner representation
• Use accessible language
• Communicate frequently
• Consistently communicate value of partners’ contributions
• Create a glossary of research and health terms
• Send meeting notes regardless of meeting attendance
• Ensure regular communication to partners to describe partners’ influence on study and value to the research process (e.g., newsletter, standing agenda item)
Partners • Managing expectations about project progress
• Experiencing perspective as understood and valueda
• Knowing impact of contributiona
• Clarify roles and expectations throughout the project • Clearly define the purpose of partnerships and partner roles
• Create opportunities to define new partner roles and recalibrate expectations across study course
  1. a Challenge theme was more prominent among respondents who identified as patients/consumers, caregivers/family members, representative of patient/caregiver advocacy organizations, and representatives of community-based organizations compared to other stakeholder respondents (i.e., clinicians, representative of clinics, hospitals, health systems, payers, policymakers, and subject matter experts)