The Impact of COVID-19 on Patient, Family Member, and Stakeholder Research Engagement: Insights from the PREPARE NOW Study

J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Apr;37(Suppl 1):64-72. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07077-w. Epub 2022 Mar 29.


Background: Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on patient, family member, and stakeholder patient-centered outcomes research engagement.

Objective: To answer the research questions: (1) What is the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of patients with kidney disease and their families? (2) What is the impact of COVID-19 on research engagement for patient and family member research team members who are themselves at very high risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes? and (3) How can we help patients, family members, and stakeholder team members engage in research during COVID-19?

Design: We conducted virtual semi-structured interviews with patient and family member co-investigators and kidney disease stakeholders from the PREPARE NOW study during November 2020. The interview guide included questions about participants' experiences with the impact of COVID-19 on research engagement.

Participants: Seven patient and family member co-investigators and eight kidney disease stakeholders involved in a kidney disease patient-centered outcomes research project participated in the interviews, data analysis, and writing this manuscript.

Approach: We used a content analysis approach and identified the main themes using an inductive process.

Key results: Respondents reported three main ways that COVID-19 has impacted their lives: emotional impact, changing behaviors, and changes in health care delivery. The majority of respondents reported no negative impact of COVID-19 on their ability to engage in this research project. Suggestions for patient-centered outcomes research during COVID-19 and other emergencies include virtual research activities; active engagement; and promoting trust, honesty, transparency, and authenticity.

Conclusions: COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on patient, family member, and stakeholder research team members; however, this has not resulted in less research engagement.

Trial registration: NCT02722382.

Keywords: COVID-19; PCORI; kidney disease; patient engagement; patient-centered; patient-centered outcomes research.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Stakeholder Participation

Associated data