Publication Date



patient engagement, patient participation, rare diseases, program evaluation, drug development


Purpose: While patient engagement is becoming more customary in developing health products, its monitoring and evaluation to understand processes and enhance impact are challenging. This article describes a patient engagement monitoring and evaluation (PEME) framework, co-created and tailored to the context of community advisory boards (CABs) for rare diseases in Europe. It can be used to stimulate learning and evaluate impacts of engagement activities.

Methods: A participatory approach was used in which data collection and analysis were iterative. The process was based on the principles of interactive learning and action and guided by the PEME framework. Data were collected via document analysis, reflection sessions, a questionnaire, and a workshop.

Results: The tailored framework consists of a theory of change model with metrics explaining how CABs can reach their objectives. Of 61 identified metrics, 17 metrics for monitoring the patient engagement process and short-term outcomes were selected, and a “menu” for evaluating long-term impacts was created. Example metrics include “Industry representatives’ understanding of patients’ unmet needs;” “Feeling of trust between stakeholders;” and “Feeling of preparedness.” “Alignment of research programs with patients’ needs” was the highest-ranked metric for long-term impact.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that process and short-term outcome metrics could be standardized across CABs, whereas long-term impact metrics may need to be tailored to the collaboration from a proposed menu. Accordingly, we recommend that others adapt and refine the PEME framework as appropriate. The next steps include implementing and testing the evaluation framework to stimulate learning and share impacts.

Appendix A.pdf (84 kB)
Online Appendix A

Appendix B.pdf (4104 kB)
Online Appendix B




March 1st, 2021


July 12th, 2021


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