Diversified caregiver input to upgrade the Young Children’s Participation and Environment Measure for equitable pediatric re/habilitation practice Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Practitioner and family experiences of pediatric re/habilitation can be inequitable. The Young Children’s Participation and Environment Measure (YC-PEM) is an evidence-based and promising electronic patient-reported outcome measure that was designed with and for caregivers for research and practice. This study examined historically minoritized caregivers’ responses to revised YC-PEM content modifications and their perspectives on core intelligent virtual agent functionality needed to improve its reach for equitable service design. Methods Caregivers were recruited during a routine early intervention (EI) service visit and met five inclusion criteria: (1) were 18 + years old; (2) identified as the parent or legal guardian of a child 0–3 years old enrolled in EI services for 3 + months; (3) read, wrote, and spoke English; (4) had Internet and telephone access; and (5) identified as a parent or legal guardian of a Black, non-Hispanic child or as publicly insured. Three rounds of semi-structured cognitive interviews (55–90 min each) used videoconferencing to gather caregiver feedback on their responses to select content modifications while completing YC-PEM, and their ideas for core intelligent virtual agent functionality. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, cross-checked for accuracy, and deductively and inductively content analyzed by multiple staff in three rounds. Results Eight Black, non-Hispanic caregivers from a single urban EI catchment and with diverse income levels (Mdn = $15,001–20,000) were enrolled, with children (M = 21.2 months, SD = 7.73) enrolled in EI. Caregivers proposed three ways to improve comprehension (clarify item wording, remove or simplify terms, add item examples). Environmental item edits prompted caregivers to share how they relate and respond to experiences with interpersonal and institutional discrimination impacting participation. Caregivers characterized three core functions of a virtual agent to strengthen YC-PEM navigation (read question aloud, visual and verbal prompts, more examples and/or definitions). Conclusions Results indicate four ways that YC-PEM content will be modified to strengthen how providers screen for unmet participation needs and determinants to design pediatric re/habilitation services that are responsive to family priorities. Results also motivate the need for user-centered design of an intelligent virtual agent to strengthen user navigation, prior to undertaking a community-based pragmatic trial of its implementation for equitable practice.


  • Villegas, Vivian C
  • Bosak, Dianna L
  • Salgado, Zurisadai
  • Phoenix, Michelle
  • Parde, Natalie
  • Teplicky, Rachel
  • Khetani, Mary A
  • Kuznicki, L
  • Pedrow, A
  • Howell, A

publication date

  • August 28, 2023