Patient and public involvement of young people with a chronic condition: lessons learned and practical tips from a large participatory program

Res Involv Engagem. 2020 Sep 30;6:59. doi: 10.1186/s40900-020-00234-1. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Plain english summary: BackgroundYoung people with a chronic condition are increasingly involved in doing research and developing tools and interventions that concern them. Working together with patients is called Patient and Public Involvement (PPI). We know from the literature that PPI with young people with a chronic condition can be challenging. Therefore, it is important that everyone shares their lessons learned from doing PPI.AimWe want to share our lessons learned from a large program, called Care and Future Prospects. This program helps young people with a chronic condition to, for example, go to school or to find a job. It funded numerous projects that could contribute to this. In all projects, project teams collaborated with young people with a chronic condition.What did we doWe asked young people with a chronic condition and project teams about their experiences with PPI. Project teams wrote reports, were interviewed, and filled out a tool called the Involvement Matrix. Young people filled out a questionnaire.FindingsIn the article, we present our lessons learned. Examples are: it is important to involve young people with a chronic condition from the start of a project and everyone involved in a project should continuously discuss their responsibilities. We provide practical tips on how young people with a chronic condition and project teams can do this. A tip for young people is, for example: 'discuss with the project team what you can and want to do and what you need'. An example of a tip for project teams is: 'Take time to listen attentively to the ideas of young people'.

Abstract: BackgroundThe Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) of young people with a chronic condition receives increasing attention in policy and practice. This is, however, not without its challenges. Consequently, calls have been made to share lessons learned during PPI practice.MethodsWe share our lessons learned from a large participatory program, called Care and Future Prospects. This program aims to improve the social position of young people aged 0-25 with a physical or mental chronic condition by funding participatory projects. We have drawn our lessons from 33 of these projects, using four data sources. One data source provided information from the perspective of young people with a chronic condition, i.e. questionnaires. Three data sources contained information from the perspectives of project teams, i.e. project reports, case studies of projects and Involvement Matrices. For most of the projects, we have information from multiple data sources.ResultsWe have combined the findings derived from all four data sources. This resulted in multiple lessons learned about PPI with young people with a chronic condition. Those lessons are divided into six themes, including practicalities to take into account at the start, involvement from the start, roles and responsibilities, support, flexibility and an open mind, and evaluation of process and outcomes.ConclusionsThe lessons learned have taught us that meaningful PPI requires effort, time and resources from both young people and project teams, from the beginning to the end. It is important to continuously discuss roles and responsibilities, and whether these still meet everyone's needs and wishes. Our study adds to previous research by providing practical examples of encountered challenges and how to deal with them. Moreover, the practical tips can be a valuable aid by showing young people and project teams what concrete actions can support a successful PPI process.

Keywords: Adolescence; Child disability; Chronic disease; Engagement; Involvement; Patient participation.