DOI: 10.1177/13558196231197288 ISSN:

A patienthood that transcends the patient: An analysis of patient research partners’ narratives of involvement in a Canadian arthritis patient advisory board

Graham G Macdonald, Jenny Leese, Alison M Hoens, Sheila Kerr, Wendy Lum, Lianne Gulka, Laura Nimmon, Linda C Li
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


Incorporating the perspectives of patients and public into the conduct of research has the potential to make scientific research more democratic. This paper explores how being a patient partner on an arthritis patient advisory board shapes the patienthood of a person living with arthritis.


An analysis was undertaken of the narratives of 22 patient research partners interviewed about their experiences on the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board (APAB), based in Vancouver, Canada.


Participants’ motivations to become involved in APAB stemmed largely from their desire to change their relationship with their condition. APAB was a living collective project in which participants invested their hope, both for their own lives as patients and for others with the disease.


Our findings highlight how the journeys of patient partners connect and integrate seemingly disparate conceptions of what it means to be a patient. One’s experience as a clinical ‘patient’ transforms into the broader notion of civic patienthood.

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