Glossary and terminology – Patient Engagement Platform

The following are terms and phrases used within the Patient Engagement Platform:

Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR)

  • An initiative to make health research more relevant to patients, to ensure patients are engaged in research as partners, and to help research findings become quickly adopted into direct patient care.


  • An overarching term inclusive of individuals with personal experience of a health issue and/or, informal caregivers, including family and friends.

Patient-Oriented Research (POR)

  • A continuum of research that engages patients, focusses on patient-identified topics, and/or improves patient outcomes.

Patient engagement in research

  • Meaningful and active collaboration of patients in governance, (including ethical and funding review, and as members on a research advisory committee); and across the research process (Figure 1) in any or all phases (for example, idea generation, preparation/planning, design/execution, translation/dissemination (can include priority setting), and evaluation).


  • The Alberta SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit comprises seven “platforms” or departments that offer services to patients and researchers to support patient-oriented research in Alberta.

Note: This glossary and terminology is informed by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research SPOR guiding principles of inclusiveness, support, mutual respect, and collaborative building.