The Centre for Online Health strongly believe that the success of any telehealth service relies heavily on consumer involvement. As the end user of the service, and perhaps someone with lived experience in specific health conditions or caring for someone, consumers can provide unique insights into what makes a high-quality health service. We acknowledge that partnering with consumers to set the agenda for telehealth research and engage with them throughout the entire process is the only way to effectively meet the needs of those who seek care remotely.

In 2022, we secured funding, opened expressions of interest and invited consumers to participate in a telehealth consumer research group. Consumers enthusiastic about telehealth and digital health services across Australia signed up and researchers facilitated online introductory sessions to get to know each other and align expectations. Participants demonstrated a real passion for telehealth research and were excited about the opportunity to be involved. 

A new group name was chosen by consumers: the UQ-COH Telehealth Consumer Reference Group (UQ-COH TCRG).

Consumer Age Groups

Members of our consumer group are representative of different age groups. Most are aged between 41 to 70 years old.

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CALD Consumers

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers are those born overseas, in countries other than major English-speaking countries. They come from communities with not only diverse languages but also ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, traditions, societal structures, religions, and cultures

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Consumer Lived Experience

Lived experience refers to those who have first-hand experiences and knowledge about certain situations or conditions. For example, someone who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has been living with this condition for a while is in a unique place to talk about their experience in healthcare. And there is a lot of research showing the positive impacts of services designed and delivered by people with lived experience!

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Why Did We Join?

Consumers identified important reasons why they wanted to join this group and highlighted the impact they want to make on telehealth research and service delivery.

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Consumer Roundtable

In 2022, The University of Queensland's Consumer and Community Network hosted a Consumer Roundtable to bring consumers and researchers together to explore emerging issues and priorities for future research.  Research questions prioritised by consumer vote focussed on marginalised groups and stigmatised conditions; differences between telehealth and face-to-face healthcare delivery; and the experience of conveying and receiving compassion via telehealth.  See the publication for more information:

Jenkinson B, Maxwell J, Bell A, et al. Bringing researchers to the consumer table: The process and outcomes of a consumer roundtable on telehealth. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2023;0(0). doi:10.1177/1357633X231188536

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We invite anyone who is enthusiastic about improving telehealth service delivery to join our telehealth group. As the end user of health services, and perhaps someone with lived experience in specific health conditions, you have valuable insight into what makes a service person-centred.

This is an opportunity to contribute to the future of telehealth by taking part in activities like online meetings with our research team, reviewing research materials, or attending group sessions. Anyone can join no matter your geographic location in Australia.

Register your interest now