The OHTN’s Approach to PRA Engagement and Support

Katherine MurrayCommunity Engagement in Research

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The OHTN recognizes the important contribution of people living with and affected by HIV and adheres to the Greater/Meaningful involvement of people with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA) principles. Respect and non-judgment are central tenets of our approach to working with Peer Research Associates (PRAs) and are critical to our continued success. We are committed to an environment of diversity, inclusiveness and non-discrimination. We live our values internally with our colleagues and externally with our stakeholders.

PRA Accountabilities

Our PRAs often reflect the diversity within our communities and are a source of social, cultural, and intellectual enrichment and strength to our organization. Peer Research Associates strive to meet the needs of a research project and collaborate with Investigators and Coordinators, as well as study participants. Specific accountabilities of PRAs may include:

  • recruiting and scheduling of study participants
  • conducting quantitative and/or qualitative interviews
  • reporting back to the research team on key issues relating to a project
  • upholding the confidentiality, privacy and integrity of all participants
  • collaborating with academic researchers, students, and other stakeholders
  • working remotely with research team members, participants and Coordinators

Supporting PRAs

The OHTN supports PRAs both during and after their involvement in OHTN research projects in ways that may include:

  • allocating dedicated time for debriefing and self-care in the course of a research project
  • in-person or online distance meetings that sustain PRAs’ engagement during transitions and gaps between research projects
  • identifying new research opportunities and pertinent educational and professional development opportunities for PRAs
  • engaging in a national discussion on PRA honoraria and other forms of remuneration and rewards in the context of current employment and disability legislation.
  • building capacity in areas such as leadership development, self-care, and research data gathering techniques
  • introducing PRAs to established research and training networks such as REACH, the CBR Collaborative and Universities Without Walls
  • supporting and hosting the national webcast What’s Hot With PRAs

In addition, periodic face-to-face meetings are held with PRAs to work through research-related challenges, solicit feedback and update them on study progress. We also offer site-visit supports, and host a number of events and gatherings to conduct multi-study training sessions and to celebrate project landmarks.