Seven-year-old children's perceptions of participating in a comprehensive clinical birth cohort study

Clinical Ethics 4 (2):79-84 (2009)
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While several studies have explored parents' perceptions of their children's participation in research, very few studies have described the children's own perceptions of their participation in research. The aim of this study was to describe children's perceptions of their participation in a comprehensive longitudinal clinical study. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 17 children aged seven participating in the Copenhagen Prospective Study on Asthma in Childhood. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed using the template analysis method. The children rated their experiences with venepunctures on a Wong-Baker faces scale. The regular visits to the hospital and comprehensive clinical tests did not seem to have affected the children negatively. In particular, the children would happily engage themselves in medical tests mimicking play (moving, walking, running or playing with a computer). A majority of the children, however, disapproved of the venepunctures and some even refused to have it done. The results of this study indicate that participation in even comprehensive paediatric research can be a positive experience to the participants, with the most popular tests being those that required active participation from the children



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