Study into effective health services for young people

06 March 2012

Study into effective health services for young people

Dr Helen Mason

A newly commissioned study -  involving GCU Health economist Dr Helen Mason - is set to identify the most efficient and effective health services to help young people with complex health needs move from child to adult services.

Dr Mason this month received £4,380 from a £1.9 million National Institute of Health Research study led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust into improving the kinds of services offered to young adults with complex health needs, such as Diabetes or Epilepsy.  

Working with colleagues from Newcastle University, Dr Mason will use her expertise in Q methodology to interview 45 young people about their experience of the services they receive. Q methodology features an innovative mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques including a stage where interviewees are asked to rank a number of options provided to them.

The study will look at young adults aged between 14 and 23. However, Dr Mason says that patients aged between 15 and 17, those in the transition period between child orientated services, and adult ones, are most in risk of missing out on the appropriate care.

Dr Mason aims to identify which kinds of services, - for example providing patients with a health passport to help them manage their care- are of most value, hopefully leading to better engagement from patients and a more efficient service.

Says Dr Mason: “It is my understanding what the young adult wants, and what might make them stay within the service. Ultimately, the project aims to design a series of services which help young adults move smoothly from childhood services to their adult counterparts.”

Dr Helen Mason received a PHD in Health Economics from Newcastle University in 2007. She joined GCU last year.

- Find out more about the study 

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