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On Your Own Feet

Three research projects
Publication date: 01 April 2004

In recent years, the research group ‘Transitions in Care’, part of Research Centre Innovations in Care of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences initiated a research project focused on adolescents with chronic conditions called On Your Own Feet.

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Participatory Qualitative Study

Growing up does not always happen smoothly. This applies particularly to young people with a chronic disease or disability, who have to overcome a number of exceptional difficulties. As these young people often have a long and intensive experience of care, the transition from child to adult care is of particular interest to them. Care is not always optimally tuned to the needs of those on the border between childhood to adulthood. This qualitative research looked at what young people want and are able to achieve, and what happens in practice in the consulting room.

It mapped out what young people want and expect from healthcare providers. To gain an understanding of this process, our research centred on what young people already know as well as what they are already able to do themselves in the field of self-care. To be able to 'stand on their own feet' later, these young people must learn to arrange their own care by themselves. How can they do this? What do these young patients want themselves? And what are they already able to achieve?

Initiatives and Cooperating Partners

The participatory qualitative study was initiated in collaboration with the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Expertise Centre 'Transitions in Care', Research Centre Innovations in Care), the Sophia Children's Hospital (Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam), and the Institute of Health Policy and Management (iBMG) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In this qualitative research, the research team 'On Your Own Feet' collaborated with nurses and specialists of the Sophia Children's Hospital of the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam. A number of bachelor students from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences also participated in realizing this project. The research was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and was made possible by the young patients and their parents.

Research Design

The participatory qualitative study consisted of two phases:

  • What do young people want and what can they do?
  • What happens in the doctor's surgery?

The qualitative research project was extended followed by a large quantitative research and subsequently 'Action Plan and Implementation Programme 'On Your Own Feet Forward! '.

Results

On the 19th of April 2007, the participatory qualitative research was concluded with the National Conference 'Ready? Go!', held at the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam. At the conference, the research findings were presented to all parties involved: young people, their parents, care professionals at the Sophia Children's Hospital, representatives of patient interest groups, and other researchers. They were also invited to participate in workshops where they could exchange experiences and express their needs. Furthermore, a large information market was present and the conference was concluded with a LOUNGE with a DJ! During the conference the publication 'On Your Own Feet, Young People with Chronic Conditions: What do they want and what can they do in healthcare?' was presented, and a list of Ten Tips for Transition was complied.

For more information, please visit the website

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