Involving pregnant women, mothers and members of the public to improve the quality of women's health research.
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Applied clinical research should be for the sake of society, not solely for the sake of a scientific endeavour. Accepting this principle also requires us to reconsider the paternalistic approach that dominates medical research. To conduct research in response to and in harmony with the patient and public voice represents a strong cultural shift. For its proper implementation, beyond paying lip service, researchers need a new mind-set and a new work ethic. How can they incorporate patient engagement in their work from design and conduct of studies to interpretation and dissemination of findings? This is not an easy task. In this commentary, drawing on our experience of developing Katie’s Team, a patient and public advisory group for pregnancy and childbirth research,we outline how meaningful collaboration can be fostered in every step of the research lifecycle