Foundations of SPOR

Patient-oriented research is not only about improving the way research is done, but is fundamentally about improving health care policies and practices across the system, and ultimately, health outcomes. As a result, patient-oriented research requires the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders.

SPOR is the result of extensive engagement with patients and caregivers, researchers and their institutions, health professionals, policy makers, charities, and the private sector. SPOR is about changing the culture of health care in Canada, and an essential component in doing so is to build our capacity for patient-oriented research, through training and career development opportunities that support the creation and application of patient-oriented research by both researchers and health care providers.

Building on the founding principles that launched SPOR, CIHR and SPOR stakeholders developed a number of supporting frameworks to guide SPOR stakeholders in the areas of capacity development and patient engagement.

  • The SPOR Capacity Development Framework provides a shared vision, key principles, and considerations for capacity development in patient-oriented research to guide the activities of all SPOR partners in this area. In alignment with this Framework, SPOR-funded entities integrate training, mentoring, and career support into their work. For example, the SPOR Networks and SUPPORT Units must implement a training and capacity development strategy that includes measurable objectives, clearly identified needs, plans, and delivery mechanisms. Building upon this, a SPOR Capacity Development Initiative aims to further realize the goals of the Framework. This initiative aligns with CIHR's Strategic Action Plan on Training, which includes a commitment to equipping trainees with specialized expertise in patient-oriented research.
  • Patient engagement is a central tenet of SPOR, which means that the patients themselves (and their families) are at the centre of the discussion on health. To ensure that patients can feel equipped to fully participate in the research process and that researchers, health care providers, and health/research institutions are fully prepared to welcome patients, SPOR has developed a number of tools. In addition, the SPOR administration strives to include patients in governance roles, in planning events and activities, and in celebrating the important roles that patients can play in research.
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