Ensuring young voices are heard in core outcome set development: international workshops with 70 children and young people.

Sherratt, Frances C ORCID: 0000-0003-4147-9305, Bagley, Heather, Stones, Simon R, Preston, Jenny, Hall, Nigel J, Gorst, Sarah L ORCID: 0000-0002-7818-9646 and Young, Bridget
(2020) Ensuring young voices are heard in core outcome set development: international workshops with 70 children and young people. Research involvement and engagement, 6. 19 - ?.

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<h4>Plain english summary</h4>Researchers test treatments to ensure these work and are safe. They do this by studying the effects that treatments have on patients by measuring outcomes, such as pain and quality of life. Often research teams measure different outcomes even though each team is studying the same condition. This makes it hard to compare the findings from different studies and it can reduce the accuracy of the treatment advice available to patients. Increasingly, researchers are tackling this problem by developing 'core outcome sets'. These are lists of outcomes that all researchers working on a given condition should measure in their studies. It is important that patients have a voice in the development of core outcome sets and children and young people are no exception. But their voices have rarely been heard when core outcome sets are developed. Researchers are trying to address this problem and make sure that core outcome sets are developed in ways that are suitable for children and young people. As a first step, we held two international workshops with children and young people to listen to their views. They emphasised the importance of motivating young people to participate in developing core outcome sets, making them feel valued, and making the development process more interactive, enjoyable and convenient. We hope this commentary will encourage researchers to include children and young people when developing core outcome sets and to adapt their methods so these are suitable for young participants. Future research is important to examine whether these adaptations are effective.<h4>Abstract</h4><b>Background</b> Different research teams looking at treatments for the same condition often select and measure inconsistent treatment outcomes. This makes it difficult to synthesise the results of different studies, leads to selective outcome reporting and impairs the quality of evidence about treatments. 'Core outcome sets' (COS) can help to address these problems. A COS is an agreed, minimum list of outcomes that researchers are encouraged to consistently measure and report in their studies. Including children and young people (CYP) as participants in the development of COS for paediatric conditions ensures that clinically meaningful outcomes are measured and reported. However, few published COS have included CYP as participants. COS developers have described difficulties in recruiting and retaining CYP and there is a lack of guidance on optimising COS methods for them. We aimed to explore CYP's views on the methods used to develop COS and identify ways to optimise these methods.<b>Main body</b> This commentary summarises discussions during two workshops with approximately 70 CYP (aged 10-18 years old) at the International Children's Advisory Network Research and Advocacy Summit, 2018. Delegates described what might motivate them to participate in a COS study, including feeling valued, understanding the need for COS and the importance of input from CYP in their development, and financial and other incentives (e.g. certificates of participation). For Delphi surveys, delegates suggested that lists of outcomes should be as brief as possible, and that scoring and feedback methods should be simplified. For consensus meetings, delegates advised preparing CYP in advance, supporting them during meetings (e.g. via mentors) and favoured arrangements whereby CYP could meet separately from parents and other stakeholders. Overall, they wanted COS methods that were convenient, enjoyable and engaging.<b>Conclusion</b> This commentary points to the limitations of the methods currently used to develop COS with CYP. It also points to ways to motivate CYP to participate in COS studies and to enhancements of methods to make participation more engaging for CYP. Pending much needed research on COS methods for CYP, the perspectives offered in the workshops should help teams developing COS in paediatrics and child health.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 08:44
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2022 04:10
DOI: 10.1186/s40900-020-00202-9
Open Access URL: https://researchinvolvement.biomedcentral.com/arti...
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3089346

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