Intro to Health Research for Patients

Resources for patients, caregivers and family members: 

Are you curious about health research and patient-oriented research?  Visit our About page to learn how these are a little different.

The BC SUPPORT Unit has curated a collection of resources that we have compiled to help you learn about this fascinating area, whether you're just starting out in understanding health research concepts, or developing your skills as a patient partner. Check out the collection of resources below. 

Do you know of another health research learning resource that we should include for patients? Contact us.

* Recommended if you're looking for comprehensive learning resources.

Resource Name What is it? Where did it come from? How do I get it? Click the following links.

Basic Research Concepts *

Online training modules to promote an understanding of basic research concepts U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
Critical Appraisal: a checklist A checklist to learn how to review research articles Students for Best Evidence

Critical appraisal 

A tutorial to learn how to review research articles University of Exeter | UK
Decision Aids for Patient Partner Engagement with Clinical Trials Decision aids  aimed at helping people decide if they are ready to engage in patient-oriented research.  Clinical Trials Ontario
ECRAN Project (Understanding clinical trials) Website aims to make understanding clinical trials easy, and tells you all about taking part in them. European Communication on Research Awareness Needs
Evidently Cochrane A blog for everyone who is interested in finding and using the best quality evidence to inform decisions about health.  Cochrane UK

Fundamentals of qualitative research methods: scientific rigor  (NOTE: series of 6 YouTube videos) *

6 video modules covering essential topics in qualitative research, including what it is qualitative research and how to use the most common methods, in-depth interviews and focus groups. Yale University | US
Health Research Ethics 101 A website that briefly describes health research ethics in Alberta. Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta

Health Research in Canada and You

A website explaining CIHR and health research in Canada. Canadian Institutes
of Health Research
How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. Patient Empowerment Network…

How to read and understand a scientific paper

A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. London School of Economics

How to read a paper A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. British Medical Journal (BMJ)…
How to read and assess research articles A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. American Association for Cancer Research
Interpreting Research Studies A blog post explaining how to review a scientific paper. Guttmacher Institute | US

Introduction to Patient-Oriented Research

A short video explaining patient-oriented research Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit

Key Concepts for assessing claims about treatment effects

A website of key concepts people need to understand to be able to assess claims about the effects of treatments.

Testing Treatments international…
Know the Science * Tools to help you better understand complex scientific topics that relate to health research National Institutes of Health | US
Knowledge Nudge Blog A blog about patient-oriented research. Manitoba SUPPORT Unit
Making Sense of Medical Research Studies A webpage about health research. Canadian Women's Health Network
Methodology 101:Training For Patients and Stakeholders  A training booklet about health research at PCORI. PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute | US…

Patient Engagement in Health Research: A How-to Guide for Patients

Guidebook for patients interested in getting involved in health research


Patient-Oriented Research in Child Health  Online training modules to learn about pediatric patient-oriented research. Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program

Patient-Oriented Research Training and Learning – Primary Health Care (PORTL-PHC) *

Online training modules to learn about patient-oriented research. PORTL-PHC is an Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit-funded initiative and was developed with the support of INSPIRE-PHC, CRaNHR and the Patient Engagement Resource Centre.…
Public Co-Applicants in Research – guidance on roles and responsibilities * A document to help understand what's needed for the public and researchers to work together INVOLVE | UK…
Public Information Pack Documents to learn about health research. INVOLVE | UK…

Quality Improvement vs Research

Webpage explaining the difference between QI and Research Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute
Training on Research Processes * Online training modules about health research. Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network
Understanding Health Research * A comprehensive website explaining health research. University of Glasgow | UK

Understanding Medical Research

A collection of resources about health research. National Library of Medicine | US

What Patients and Families Need to Know

A collection of resources about patient-oriented research. Ontario SUPPORT Unit…
Who, me? Yes, you! Becoming a Patient Partner in Health Research  A video explaining how patients can get involved in patient-oriented research. BC SUPPORT Unit…

* Recommended if you're looking for comprehensive learning resources.