The BMJ Today: On with the patient revolution

kristina_fisterCan partnership with patients be improved to the benefit of healthcare? We think so, and today we launch a strategy to help make it happen. It’s a delivery on a promise made last year, developed with the help of our international panel. We’ll be including more on, and from, patients throughout the journal—in Research, Analysis and Comment, Clinical Reviews and other Education articles, including Editorials.

One thing we’ve already started doing is including patients as peer reviewers of Research papers we are considering for publication. We are extending this to other types of articles, and hope to soon include patients in our decision making Editorial committees. Non-doctors willing to get involved can do so by registering in our database of peer reviewers.

From now on, authors of all Research papers submitted to us should let us know if, and how, they included patients in designing, conducting, and reporting the study—as well as describing any plans of disseminating the findings to participants. Authors of randomised trials should, in addition, report if and how they’ve assessed the burden of the intervention on participants’ quality of life and health, and what they found.

An Editorial explains more about our patient partnership strategy, including what kind of papers we are calling for, what we’ll be campaigning for, and how this fits with our too much medicine and open data campaigns. A blog on patient leaders perhaps gives a taste of the challenges that lie ahead.

Kristina Fišter is The BMJ’s Associate editor.

  • JohnBriffa

    I think this is a brilliant initiative. It potentially offers much in
    terms of directing research in a direction that matters most to those who medicine should be striving to help.

    Also, I’ve found that many members of the lay public have insights that are perhaps less likely to be had by medical professionals, as we can sometimes be blinkered by our own education and ‘protocols’.

  • Hermes33

    Interesting. We need to ensure that scientific and medical precision, and adherence to truth and honesty, is used for the benefit of patients and the informing of patients. We cannot let patients be misled by assumptions and presumptions and the pet ideas of a minority of medical professionals.
    This need for greater scientific and medical precision and honesty is laid out in some detail at This could become a model for future collaboration between patients, doctors and scientific researchers.

  • Derek Stewart


    You may be interested in a blog from the Canadian Medical Association Journal which covered a talk I gave in Winnipeg

    I shall add the BMJ initiative to my blog