Background Involving children in designing healthcare interventions is encouraged but challenging and often limited to teenagers. We conducted a feasibility study assessing three methods for prioritising asthma intervention components with children aged 6–12 yrs.
Methods Nineteen children prioritised 14 aspects of asthma management for intervention development using Diamond ranking (DR - equal ranks permitted), Standard Borda Ranking (SBR - no equal ranks permitted) and Budget Pie (BP - allocation of funds according to priority). Child-friendly tools included discussions, postcards, toy money and board games.
Results DR and SBR were completed by all participants using the DR rankings as a baseline then separating equal ranked items to generate SBR rankings. Older children preferred BP as it allowed them to make choices according to need for improvement and therefore requirement for funds, rather than simply importance, but was only used successfully by those aged 8+.
BP can also demonstrate weighting. Managing Acute Attacks was prioritised 1st with all methods but only BP demonstrated strength of opinion: Managing Acute Attacks received £1430 in total, whilst the 2nd place issue received just £610.
Conclusions Young children can and should be in involved with health services research. More effort needs to be dedicated to developing methods that enable Childrens involvement.
Acknowledgement This project was funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme (project number 09/2001/19). The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.