A clearly defined objective from the start is required to ensure that the YPAG achieves its overarching goal of encouraging high quality research with improved outcomes for children. In identifying a clear objective, the organizers are able to underline the scope of the group and the services it will be providing. Through a clearly defined objective, organizers will be able to efficiently identify tasks to be carried out, resources and support required, and participant characteristics of interest.
One of the models of youth advice-giving is the collaborative model which embraces youth participation and involvement with researchers in decision-making. In comparison, consultation or symbolic model involves consultation with children for their views to inform decision-making. Sharing of opinions by young persons without close collaboration with researchers has been shown to have minimal impact on program, practice, or policy. Alternatively, by allowing youth to generate advice and informed ideas, and ensuring that these ideas are implemented, the collaborative model can have a much more meaningful impact on a project.
It is therefore proposed that the YPAG adopt a collaborative approach with clinical researchers so that the youth’s input can have meaningful impact on the study design of a clinical trial. Development of objectives should be structured around a collaborative approach. The general objective of the YPAG’s contribution to a clinical trial is to provide opinions as members of the pediatric population as well as to provide advice that can shape a clinical trial’s study design. Additional, or secondary, objectives for the YPAG should be clearly defined in advance as well.