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Children’s participatory needs in injury prevention: reflections on supporting children’s right to invite and comfort in discussing sensitive topics
  1. Michelle Emma Eileen Bauer1,2,
  2. Ian Pike1,2
  1. 1Pediatrics, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michelle Emma Eileen Bauer, Pediatrics, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Michelle.Bauer{at}


Background Child-centred approaches in injury prevention emphasise the importance of practising bidirectional communications and decentring researcher–child power relations to support children’s participation in research. To date, however, a dearth of scholarship offers methodological reflections on how to bolster children’s feelings of comfort in discussing sensitive topics such as their injury experiences.

Goal Drawing from lessons we learnt working with children in a low-income to mid-income neighbourhood in Vancouver, Canada, we discuss the ways in which our strategies to support their participation succeeded in, and at times fell short of, supporting their participatory needs.

Discussion Our discussions focus attention on two important areas for consideration in future injury prevention studies: (1) Children’s inclusion in research and the demand for them to share experience and (2) supporting children’s right to invite and comfort in discussing sensitive topics such as injury experiences. We discuss the benefits of making research fun for children and being sensitive to their needs at preliminary recruitment and data collection stages.

Implications These discussions can strengthen researchers’ work with children by helping them to reflect on strategies that can bolster their desire to participate and feel comfortable sharing perspectives.

  • Child
  • Methodology
  • Qualitative research

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  • X @m_baue, @IanPike4

  • Contributors All authors contributed equally to the methodology design for the original study. The first author took a primary role in data collection for the original study and writing manuscript content. M.E.E.B. acts as guarantor for this manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (756-2021-0278)

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.