What do young people with rheumatic disease believe to be important to research about their condition?

Suzanne Parsons, Wendy Thomson, Katharine Cresswell, Bella Starling, Janet Mcdonagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
The involvement of people of all ages including young people in research is now widely advocated but prioritisation of research topics is still driven largely by professional agendas. Evidence from adult literature has reported a mismatch between a researcher and patient generated list of research topics. There have been no studies to date exploring the priorities of young people with long term conditions other than in SLE. The study aimed to explore the research priorities of young people across the UK with respect to rheumatic conditions.

Methods
Focus groups were undertaken with young people aged 11–24 years with rheumatic conditions recruited across the UK via members of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology BANNAR and relevant national charities. Data was analysed using a Framework approach. Participants discussed their beliefs about what should be researched in: Basic Science; Clinical Medicine; Health Services, Psychosocial, and Public Health. They were then invited to prioritize these areas in terms of how much funding they should receive.

Results
Thirteen focus groups were held involving 63 participants (18 males: 45 females, mean age 16 years, range 10 to 24) in all four nations of the UK. Young people’s research priorities were influenced by whether they felt research would achieve benefits for all or just some patients and long or short term goals. Another influence was whether participants felt that research areas were already well funded.

Across all groups, Basic Science was a key priority and participants felt that psychosocial research should be prioritized more. Health Services Research was a lower priority, as the majority of participants were happy with their care. Clinical medicine was not a high priority as young people were happy with their medication or uncomfortable with trying new ones. Finally, for nearly all groups, Public Health was a low priority. Differences were also observed between the two age groups and across the geographically diverse focus groups.

Conclusion
Understanding young people’s research priorities is important to develop research that is in tune with their needs. The results highlight the importance of considering the whole age range of adolescence and young adulthood as well as geographical diversity. The findings from this work will inform the future research of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology BANNAR in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalPediatric Rheumatology
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Qualitative
  • Priority setting
  • Patient-centred
  • Patient involvement

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