Dr Gill Back was recently invited to conduct a seminar for the Public Engagement team at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.
OUCRU, a Wellcome Trust funded programme since its inception in 1991, is a large-scale clinical and public health research unit hosted by the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in HCMC, and the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.
OUCRU’s Public Engagement team, lead by Dr. Mary Chambers, works with local communities to bring them together with scientists by involving them in the research, and by improving understanding of the public’s motivations and perceptions.
Dr Black’s interactive seminar focused on hand mapping, a participatory visual research method that SLF has adapted and developed into a novel research and engagement tool. The seminar group discussed the potential of hand mapping as an approach to engaging communities, and as a way to better understand community perspectives and experiences of the medical research processes and clinical trials that are conducted with and around them.
As a result of the community engagement experience that OUCRU and SLF have gained over the past few years, Drs Black and Chambers have recently been awarded a grant from Wellcome to develop an online teaching and learning course and accompanying handbook. This open access course will provide practical and ethical guidance for those with an interest in working with PVM to engage communities in public health and biomedical research.