ACR 2022 Recap Series: Pathway of Patient Engagement in Rheumatology Research Review and Implementation

In November, RNS Board member Teri Puhalsky, BSN, RN, CRNI attended the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2022. Throughout our ACR 2022 recap series, Teri provides her perspective and insight into some of the sessions she attended. Rheumatology experts met for a panel discussion on engaging patients for more valuable research. 

Session Recap: Pathway of Patient Engagement in Rheumatology Research Review and Implementation
Faculty: Maarten De Wit, PhD / Dr. Linda Li


The panel discussion opened with the topic of defining “patient engagement”.

Maarten De Wit presented, ‘Navigating the Pathway Tool’ and the value of including patients on the research team. PRP (Patient research partner) is defined as, “a member of the research team who contributes the patient’s perspective in the design and conduct of health research as an equal partner.”

De Wit discussed the framework of the pathway tool to include meaningful patient engagement in research based on eight items: procedural requirements, research environment, team interaction, convenience, contributions, support, feel valued, and benefits.

Dr. Linda Li went on to discuss her works with Clayon Hamilton, PhD on the PEIRS (Patient Engagement In Research Scale) and how 100 items were drilled down to 22 based on “Thinking about your experience as a patient partner in the project.”

These items are available to view at:

Teri Puhalsky, BSN, RN, CRNI
Membership Development Chair Registered Nurse
Medstar Orthopaedic Institute
Brandywine, MD

Teri Puhalsky currently resides in Maryland, where she works as an infusion RN at Medstar Orthopaedic Institute. She studied nursing at Excelsior College School of Nursing and has been practicing rheumatology since 2011. Teri received the Outstanding Clinical Performance Award as an LPN, obtained her CRNI in 2012, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International PhiPi Chapter. She strives for positive patient outcomes and firmly believes that collaboration with the healthcare team is critical for chronic disease management. With a patient-focused and evidence-based nursing practice, she knows all patients can receive quality, safe, and effective care.