Users’ feedback is a key asset for organizations that want to improve their services. Studying how organizations are enabling their users to participate in evaluation activities is particularly important, especially when there are vulnerable or disadvantaged people, and the services to be evaluated can be life-changing. This is the case in the coassessment by pediatric patients experiencing hospital stay. The international literature reports a few attempts and several challenges in systematically collecting and using the pediatric patient experience with respect to hospitalization, to undertake quality improvement actions.


This paper describes the research protocol of a European project intended to develop and implement a systematic pediatric patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) observatory that will be shared by 4 European children’s hospitals in Finland, Italy, Latvia, and the Netherlands.


The VoiCEs (Value of including the Children’s Experience for improving their rightS during hospitalization) project uses a participatory action research approach, based on a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. It consists of 6 different phases, including a literature review, an analysis of the previous experiences of pediatric PREMs reported by project partners, a Delphi process, a cycle of focus groups or in-depth interviews with children and their caregivers, a series of workshops with interactive working groups, and a cross-sectional observational survey. The project guarantees the direct participation of children and adolescents in the development and implementation phases of the project.


The expected results are (1) a deeper knowledge of published methodologies and tools on collecting and reporting pediatric patients’ voice; (2) lessons learnt from the analysis of previous experiences of pediatric PREMs; a consensus reached through a participatory process (3) among experts, (4) pediatric patients and caregivers about a standard set of measures for the evaluation of hospitalization by patients; (5) the implementation of a European observatory on pediatric PREMs; and (6) the collection and comparative reporting of the pediatric patients’ voice. In addition, the project is aimed at studying and proposing innovative methodologies and tools for capturing the pediatric patients’ feedback directly, avoiding the intermediation of parents/guardians.


Over the last decade, the collection and use of PREMs have gained importance as a research field. Children and adolescents’ perspectives have also been increasingly taken into consideration. However, to date, there are limited experiences regarding the continuous and systematic collection and use of pediatric PREMs data for implementing timely improvement actions. In this perspective, the VoiCEs project provides room for innovation, by contributing to the creation of an international, continuous, and systematic pediatric PREMs observatory that can be joined by other children’s hospitals or hospitals with pediatric patients, and foresees the return of usable and actionable data in benchmarking.

International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/42804

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The VoiCEs Project is co-funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) (REC-RCHI-PROF-AG-2020

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