Are the voices of young people living in out-of-home care represented in research examining their health? A systematic review of the literature

Madelaine Smales, Melissa Savaglio, Susan Webster, Helen Skouteris, Bengianni Pizzirani, Renee O'Donnell, Rachael Green (nee Cox)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

There are strong imperatives for young people living in out-of-home care (OoHC) to exercise their right to participate in health-related decision making and health care practices to foster better health outcomes. This systematic review aimed to explore if and how the voices of young people in OoHC are represented in research examining their health. Studies published in the prior 15 years that examined the health needs and/or health status of young people living in OoHC were included. A total of 39 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these, only three studies involved directly interviewing young people about their perspectives on what health means to them. The remaining studies relied on carers’ reports or self-report questionnaires that primarily examined prevalence of specific mental illnesses or other health conditions. This review showed that the voices of young people in OoHC have been underrepresented in research examining their health and health care needs. The adoption of new research designs to better incorporate young people's perspectives of health matters appears warranted to better explore the unique health needs of this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104966
Number of pages15
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Health
  • Out-of-home care
  • Youth

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