The aim of this Tier I project is to facilitate collaboration of patient partners, the core project team, healthcare providers, Northwestern University, the Center for Community Health, and identified stakeholders to develop the necessary infrastructure to identify pediatric surgical experience concerns that patient partners consider important, to ultimately guide comparative effectiveness research (CER) methodologies and subsequent targeted interventions. Pediatric surgery creates a complex dynamic between a team of healthcare providers and patients and their families, during the entire surgical experience. Development of interventions based on identified patient partner priorities can help decrease psychosocial stressors, and guide the provision of culturally appropriate support for stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of improving the surgical experience.
Current interventions focus on healthcare provider-initiated programs, and primarily focus on decreasing anxiety in children through education or medical interventions (e.g., pre-medicating a child before anesthesia induction). Unfortunately, the engagement and identification of factors important to all patient partners has been neglected. Without patient partner input, we cannot meet the specific needs of our patients and their families. With this effort, patient partners and key stakeholders will be able to identify, collaborate on, and then prioritize future CER questions and guide implementation of targeted interventions. Information gained from future proposals and development of CER questions and interventions would be generalizable to all pediatric populations undergoing invasive or frightening procedures, and would be disseminated broadly to increase the impact and application of information gained to positively influence surgical outcomes for patient partners of all ages.