Using Community Engagement Methods to Guide Study Protocol Decisions for School-Aged Children With Type 1 Diabetes
Introduction. Many challenges exist in developing multisite protocols for newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes. Our research team engaged community members to increase the likelihood of study success during a planning grant for a longitudinal study aimed at understanding risk and protective factors for neurocognitive function in school-aged children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Methods. Two methods were used to obtain caregiver input into study protocol decisions. The first was a survey given to caregivers of children with diabetes (n = 21) about which aspects of the study protocol would make families more or less likely to participate. The second was a community engagement (CE) studio to obtain recommendations from a diverse group of caregivers of children with diabetes (n = 7) on key aspects of recruitment and enrollment.
Results. Results from both the survey and the CE Studio indicated that caregivers were interested and willing to participate in a longitudinal study of this nature. Both methods resulted in similar preferences for the type and amount of compensation, convenient study visits, flexible scheduling options, and receipt of neurocognitive test results. Recommendations from the CE Studio included additional strategies to minimize participant burden and enhance communication around study participation.
Conclusion. Both the feasibility survey and the CE Studio were useful mechanisms to obtain caregiver input during the study’s planning and design phase. Uniquely, the CE Studio approach offers researchers the ability to gain valuable community member input with minimal staff effort.