Patient and Family Advisory Councils for Research: Recruiting and Supporting Members From Diverse and Hard-to-Reach Communities

J Nurs Adm. 2019 Oct;49(10):473-479. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000790.


Objective: To describe strategies to recruit and support members from hard-to-reach groups on research-focused Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs).

Background: Ensuring diverse representation of members of research PFACs is challenging, and few studies have given attention to addressing this problem.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using 8 focus groups and 19 interviews with 80 PFAC members and leaders, hospital leaders, and researchers.

Results: Recruitment recommendations were: 1) utilizing existing networks; 2) going out to the community; 3) accessing outpatient clinics; and 4) using social media. Strategies to support inclusion were: 1) culturally appropriate communication methods; 2) building a sense of community between PFAC members; 3) equalizing roles between community members/leaders; 4) having a diverse PFAC leadership team; and 5) setting transparent expectations for PFAC membership.

Conclusion: Increasing the diversity of research PFACs is a priority, and it is important to determine how best to engage groups that have been traditionally underrepresented.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advisory Committees / organization & administration*
  • California
  • Caregivers
  • Family
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Research / organization & administration*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design