About the James Lind Alliance

AboutJLA
“The idea of bringing together clinicians, patients and carers to discuss research priorities seems obvious – why shouldn’t all those affected have a chance to jointly discuss frustrations about the things we don’t know, and aspirations for the future?”
- Irenie Ekkeshis, patient involved in the Sight Loss and Vision PSP

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) believes that:

  • addressing uncertainties about the effects of a treatment should become accepted as a routine part of clinical practice
  • patients, carers and clinicians should work together to agree which, among those uncertainties, matter most and deserve priority attention. 

Research on the effects of treatments often overlooks the shared interests of patients, carers and clinicians. As a result, questions that they all consider important are not addressed and many areas of potentially important research are therefore neglected. The JLA exists to help address this imbalance.

Even when researchers address questions of importance to patients and clinicians, they often fail to provide answers that are useful in practice. Another purpose of the JLA therefore, is to address the mismatch between what researchers want to research, and the practical information that is needed day-to-day by patients and health professionals.

The JLA method, described in the JLA Guidebook, is designed to change the way research funding is granted, and to raise awareness of research questions which are of direct relevance and potential benefit to patients and the clinicians who treat them.

An introduction to the JLA (pdf, 1032.26 KB) is available as a leaflet.

This video shows Katherine Cowan, Senior JLA Adviser, explaining the JLA process. 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the infrastructure of the JLA. This includes the recruitment and training of JLA Advisers, management of enquiries, communication activity, and working with JLA Advisers to support and uphold the principles and methodology of the JLA. The NIHR does not normally fund JLA Priority Setting Partnerships.