Children and young people’s contributions to public involvement and engagement activities in health-related research: a scoping review.

Ali Rouncefield-Swales*, Jane Harris, BERNIE CARTER, LUCY BRAY, Toni Bewley, RACHAEL MARTIN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background
There has been an increasing interest in how children and young people can be involved in patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in health research. However, relatively little robust evidence exists about which children and young people are reported as being involved or excluded from PPIE; the methods reported as being used to involve them in PPIE; and the reasons presented for their involvement in PPIE and what happens as a result. We performed a scoping review to identify, synthesise and present what is known from the literature about patient and public involvement and engagement activities with children and young people in health related research.

Methods
Relevant studies were identified by searches in Scopus, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane and PsychInfo databases, and hand checking of reference lists and grey literature. An adapted version of the Guidance for Reporting Involvement of Patients and the Public (GRIPP2) was used as a framework to collate the data. Two reviewers independently screened articles and decisions were consensually made.

Main findings
A total of 9805 references were identified (after duplicates were removed) through the literature search, of which 233 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility. Forty studies published between 2000 and 2019 were included in the review. The review reveals ambiguities in the quality of reporting of PPIE with children with clear reporting on demographics and health conditions. The review found that children and young people were commonly involved in multiple stages of research but there was also significant variation in the level at which children and young people were involved in PPIE. Evaluation of the impact of children and young people’s involvement in PPIE was limited.

Conclusions
Consultation, engagement and participation can all offer children and young people worthwhile ways of contributing to research with the level, purpose and impact of involvement determined by the children and young people themselves. However, careful decisions need to be made to ensure that it is suited to the context, setting and focus so that the desired PPIE impacts are achieved. Improvements should be made to the evaluation and reporting of PPIE in research. This will help researchers and funders to better understand the benefits, challenges and impact of PPIE with children and young people on health research.

Implications
PPIE with children and young people should be pragmatic, flexible and led by children and young people’s preferences, choices, abilities and interests and should respect their time, skills, and commitment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Early online date9 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

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