Objectives: The objectives were (1) to describe barriers and facilitators of adverse event reporting by adolescent patients and parents in a pediatric hospital and (2) to identify characteristics the participants wished to have in a formal reporting system of adverse events.
Methods: We used a qualitative design in which 6 focus groups, 3 with parents and 3 with adolescents, were conducted. The transcripts of audio recordings, notes of team debriefings, and written field notes of group behaviors were analyzed using NVivo software for qualitative data analysis.
Results: Participants reported that the quality of the experience with the health care system, type of communication with health care providers, and degree of personal self-confidence in communication within the health care system were 3 interacting factors influencing willingness to report adverse events. Preferred reporting mechanisms were different for different participants and included face-to-face meetings with hospital representatives, Web sites, smart phone capability, phone calls from a human, and paper mail. Reporting systems should be easy to use, ensure confidentiality, and provide user feedback.
Conclusions: Experience, communication, and confidence are 3 factors that can engage an adolescent patient and parents in their health care. Confident adolescent patients and parents in turn have a possibility of reporting an adverse safety event given an opportunity.
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