Why the JLA method?

The JLA involves both patients and clinicians equally in setting priorities for research.  The JLA method is designed to raise awareness of research questions that are of direct relevance and potential benefit to patients, their carers and the clinicians who treat them, with the aim of leading to changes in the way research funding is granted.  The method has been developed and refined since the completion of the first PSP, in Asthma, in 2007.

The optimum long-term outcome for any JLA PSP is that one or more of the uncertainties it identifies is turned into a research study, and that this goes on to have a life-changing impact on the treatments or services available to patients and the way in which these are delivered.

Focusing on specific conditions, or areas of healthcare, the JLA facilitates PSPs which:

  • bring patient, carer and clinician groups together on an equal footing
  • identify evidence uncertainties which are important to these groups
  • work with these groups to jointly prioritise the uncertainties
  • produce a ‘Top 10’ list of jointly agreed uncertainties as research questions to be presented to funders.

The JLA PSP process results in a Top 10.  The aim of the Top 10 is to highlight important areas for research, but not necessarily to come up with the specific research questions. The Top 10 may include broader areas of importance where patients, carers and health professionals have agreed that there is a need for research.  This informs researchers and research funders about priorities so that they can make their research as meaningful as possible to the people who need it.