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Development of a benchmarking toolkit for adolescent and young adult rheumatology services (BeTAR)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Lee, Debbie Sen



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BACKGROUND: Young people (YP; 12-24 years old) with rheumatic diseases face many challenges associated with chronic illness in addition to the physiological and psychosocial changes of adolescence. Timely access to developmentally appropriate multidisciplinary care is key to successfully managing rheumatic diseases, but gaps in the care of this vulnerable age group still exist. This study aimed to develop a benchmarking toolkit to enable comparative evaluation of YP rheumatology services in order to promote best practice and reduce variations in service delivery. METHODS: A staged and consultative method was used across a broad group of stakeholders in the UK (YP, parents/other carers, and healthcare professionals, HCPs) to develop this toolkit, with reference to pre-existing standards of YP-friendly healthcare. Eighty-seven YP (median age 19 years, range 12-24 years) and 26 rheumatology HCPs with 1-34 years of experience caring for YP have participated. RESULTS: Thirty quality criteria were identified, which were grouped into four main domains: assessment and treatment, information and involvement, accessibility and environment, and continuity of care. Two toolkit versions, one to be completed by HCPs and one to be completed by patients, were developed. These were further refined by relevant groups and face validity was confirmed. CONCLUSIONS: A toolkit has been developed to systematically evaluate and benchmark YP rheumatology services, which is key in setting standards of care, identifying targets for improvement and facilitating research. Engagement from YP, clinical teams, and commissioners with this tool should facilitate investigation of variability in levels of care and drive quality improvement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cai RA, Chaplin H, Livermore P, Lee M, Sen D, Wedderburn LR, Wilkinson N, Jeffery R, Kempa A, Norton I, Tattersall R, Ioannou Y, Eleftheriou D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Rheumatology

Year: 2019

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 21/05/2019

Acceptance date: 26/04/2019

Date deposited: 19/06/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1546-0096

Publisher: BioMed Central


DOI: 10.1186/s12969-019-0323-8

PubMed id: 31113443


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