Adolescents' experiences with patient engagement in respiratory medicine

Barbara Groot, Christine Dedding, Elise Slob, Henriette Maitland, Truus Teunissen, Niels Rutjes, Susanne Vijverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Adolescent engagement in decision-making processes in health care and research in the field of chronic respiratory diseases is rare but increasingly recognized as important. The aim of this study was to reflect on adolescents' motives and experiences in the process of establishing an advisory council for adolescents with a chronic respiratory disease. Methods: A qualitative evaluation study was undertaken to assess the process of starting an advisory youth council in a tertiary hospital in the Netherlands. Data collection consisted of observations of council meetings, in-depth interviews with youth council members, and moderated group discussions. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis to explore the experiences of the council members (n = 9, aged 12–18 years, all with a chronic respiratory disease). Two-hour council meetings took place in the hospital to provide solicited and unsolicited advice to improve research and care. Results: Three themes were identified as motives for adolescents to engage in an advisory council: (1) experience of fun and becoming empowered by their illness; (2) the value of peer support and contact; and (3) being able to contribute to care and research. The council's output consisted of solicited advice on information leaflets for patients, study procedures, and dietary menu options for hospitalized children. The council struggled to have their unsolicited advice heard within the hospital. Conclusions: Council members experienced engagement as beneficial at the individual, group, and organizational levels. However, meaningful youth engagement requires connectedness with, and official support from, officials at all levels within an organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Cite this