The rising number of children carrying chronic disease with them into adulthood presents the research community with an obligation to address their unique needs. Authentic involvement of individuals and communities directly affected by the condition being studied ensures that research answers the questions of those most affected. Our aim was to identify the highest priority research questions of young people living with chronic illness and their caregivers.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a qualitative study using the Research Prioritization by Affected Communities (RPAC) method. Participants were recruited from two hospitals and two community organizations to participate in focus groups.
Twenty three participants developed and prioritized 300 potentially researchable questions. Thematic analysis of the priority research topics revealed three health dimensions of chronic illness (physical health, social-emotional health and navigating the health care system) and two cross-cutting dimensions (living with a chronic illness and future with a chronic illness).
Young people experiencing different chronic conditions were able to achieve consensus on the same set of condition-agnostic research priorities, age and role influenced research priorities. We report these research priorities to inform and influence local and national research agendas and funding priorities.
Patients and caregivers affected by different chronic illnesses were able to achieve consensus on condition-agnostic research priorities. Age and role influenced research priorities.
Questions posed by young people experiencing different chronic conditions fell under three themes (physical, social–emotional and health care system) and two cross-cutting dimensions (living with a chronic illness and future with a chronic illness).
Use of the Research Prioritization by Affected Communities (RPAC) method, which begins with the patient’s lived experiences, provided nuanced insights into the complexity of living with a chronic illness and surfaced under-studied research topics to guide future research investment.
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Research reported in this publication was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute® (PCORI®) Award (5134413).
The authors declare no competing interests.
All participants provided informed consent as per the UCSF Institutional Review Board approved protocol (17-23588).
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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von Scheven, E., Nahal, B.K., Cohen, I.C. et al. Research Questions that Matter to Us: priorities of young people with chronic illnesses and their caregivers. Pediatr Res 89, 1659–1663 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-01207-6