Inpatient survey response differences between children and parents

Despite growing interest in children and young people’s (CYP) perspectives on healthcare, they continue to be excluded from many patient experience surveys. When CYP care is included in patient experience surveys, parents or caregivers are usually asked to respond on their behalf. This is due to concerns about gaining parental consent and lack of evidence about the feasibility of asking them to complete surveys. While it’s clear that young children will unlikely provide detailed experience information, there is increasing evidence that young people may be willing to respond to age-appropriate surveys from the age of 8 onwards. Their healthcare priorities evolve and progressively diverge from those of their parents from the age of 12 onwards.

In a study published by BMJ, Picker investigated the feasibility of measuring CYP experiences of a recent hospital admission. The three overarching aims of this study were to:

  • Investigate the proportion and characteristics of CYP who completed the CYP section independently.
  • Study the agreement between reports by CYP and their parents on the same inpatient episode.
  • Investigate whether there were systematic differences in responses to the CYP section when it was completed by CYP, parents, or jointly.

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