Community engagement of adolescents in the development of a patient-centered outcome tool for adolescents with a history of hypospadias repair

K. H. Chan, J. Panoch, A. Carroll, S. Downs, M. P. Cain, R. Frankel, B. Cockrum, C. Moore, S. Wiehe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Hypospadias may lead to long-term issues with urination, sexual function and psychosocial well-being. Limited evidence exists regarding the healthcare communication preferences of male adolescents regarding sensitive topics. Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the healthcare communication preferences of male adolescents regarding sensitive topics (e.g. urinary and sexual issues) and engage them in the initial stages of development of a patient-centered outcome tool for adolescents with a history of hypospadias repair. Study design: A multidisciplinary team with communication design expertise, pediatric urology experts, and health services researchers developed a self-reported toolkit for adolescent patients who had hypospadias repair as children. The toolkit featured short writing/diagramming exercises and scales to facilitate participant reflections about genital appearance, urination, sexual function, and psychosocial well-being. We recruited students from two local high schools for two focus groups to obtain feedback about the usability/acceptability of the toolkit's appearance/content. We inquired about language preferences and preferred format and/or setting for sharing sensitive information with researchers. The focus groups were audio recorded, professionally transcribed, checked for accuracy, and analyzed by two coders using qualitative content analysis. Major themes and subthemes were identified, and representative quotes were selected. Results: We conducted two focus groups in January 2018 with 33 participants, aged 14–18 years. Participants preferred language that would make patients feel comfortable and serious, clinical language rather than slang terms/sexual humor (Extended Summary Table). They recommended avoidance of statements implying that something is wrong with a patient or statements that would pressure the patient into providing answers. They suggested fill-in-the-blank and open-ended responses to encourage freedom of expression and colorful graphics to de-emphasize the test-like appearance of the toolkit. Most participants preferred a toolkit format to a one-on-one interview to discuss sensitive topics such as urinary or sexual issues. Participants would prefer either a male interviewer or would like to have a choice of interviewer gender for individual qualitative interviews, and they recommended a focus group leader with a history of hypospadias repair. Discussion: This study provides a rich description of a group of male high school students' experiences with healthcare providers and researchers. Its qualitative design limits generalizability, and our findings may not be similar to those of adolescents with a history of hypospadias repair. Conclusion: We used focus group feedback on the toolkit prototype to refine the tool for use in a future study of adolescents with a history of hypospadias repair. [Table presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448.e1-448.e8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

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Keywords

  • Hypospadias
  • Pediatrics
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology

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