Hearing the Adolescents' Voice: a Study Evaluating the Use of Conjoint Analysis for Use with Adolescents to Determine Preferences for Inpatient Hospital Facilities
Some adolescents spend considerable time in hospital in environments that are designed either with adults or with younger children in mind. This research used the economic technique of conjoint analysis and an informal discussion to canvas opinions regarding ideal combination of inpatient facilities and, because of the changing youth culture, the use of cell phones in hospital. The content of the conjoint analysis was, with the exception of the inclusion of the question regarding the use of cell phones, derived from the literature. Because conjoint analysis does not appear to have been used with adolescents one of the questions to be answered was whether this was a method of research that could be used with adolescents. The research was undertaken with 29 young people, most of who were from CanTeen (the adolescent cancer support group) in Wellington. The conjoint analysis, and discussion with the adolescents supported the general findings from the literature that adolescents do not want to be nursed in either overtly paediatric or, in their words, ‘dull adult wards’, as they enjoy bright lively surrounds. Ideally they would like to be nursed with their peer group and so have the opportunity to interact with young people of their age. The research demonstrated that adolescents are able to understand the concept of conjoint analysis and also supported findings from overseas that these healthcare consumers value having their opinions canvassed and are well able to give constructive and well thought out opinions. A report on the findings of this research will be presented to Capital and Coast District Health Board with the expectation that it will be considered when the final decisions are made regarding the upgrading of Wellington Hospital’s present facilities as it is anticipated that these facilities will contain dedicated adolescent beds within the paediatric unit.