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‘Nothing about us without us’: public engagement to inform sexual health research and services
  1. Joseph D Tucker1,2,
  2. Hongyun Fu3,
  3. Jason J Ong1,4
  1. 1 Clinical Research Department, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3 Department of Pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
  4. 4 Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph D Tucker, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, WC1E 7HT, UK; jdtucker{at}med.unc.edu

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‘Nothing about us without us’ is a slogan that underlines the importance of engaging end-users in the development of programmes and policies. Although the concept has been widely used in politics, activism and social life, government-organised health services rarely seek patient and public input when developing new health programmes. Experts, physicians, public health leaders and others make the key decisions about what health services to offer and how they are delivered. End-user perspectives have been largely overlooked in the process of sexual health service planning. How can patients and the public be more involved in setting health priorities? This is the central question raised by a study organised by a multidisciplinary team in Liverpool.1 In addition to organising focus group discussions and other methods, they organised a crowdsourcing open call to determine STI research priorities in northwest England. Crowdsourcing open calls are a structured process to obtain ideas from people and then share these back with the broader community.2 Open call approaches have many advantages for soliciting input from stakeholders.3

The open call process used by this study to ascertain preferences related to STI research priorities demonstrates strengths related to diverse stakeholder networks, established priority setting methods and heterogeneous recruitment …

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  • Contributors All authors wrote components, edited the manuscript and approved the final draft. All authors confirm that they have contributed to this article and met the following three requirements: (A) they made significant contributions to the conception, design and implementation; (B) they drafted or revised the article for intellectual content; and (C) gave final approval of the submitted article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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