An exploration of the data collection methods utilised with children, teenagers and young people (CTYPs)

Sarah M. Flanagan, S. Greenfield, J. Coad, S. Neilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The impact of cancer upon children, teenagers and young people can be profound. Research has been undertaken to explore the impacts upon children, teenagers and young people with cancer, but little is known about how researchers can ‘best’ engage with this group to explore their experiences. This review paper provides an overview of the utility of data collection methods employed when undertaking research with children, teenagers and young people. A systematic review of relevant databases was undertaken utilising the search terms ‘young people’, ‘young adult’, ‘adolescent’ and ‘data collection methods’. The full-text of the papers that were deemed eligible from the title and abstract were accessed and following discussion within the research team, thirty papers were included.

Findings: Due to the heterogeneity in terms of the scope of the papers identified the following data collections methods were included in the results section. Three of the papers identified provided an overview of data collection methods utilised with this population and the remaining twenty seven papers covered the following data collection methods: Digital technologies; art based research; comparing the use of ‘paper and pencil’ research with web-based technologies, the use of games; the use of a specific communication tool; questionnaires and interviews; focus groups and telephone interviews/questionnaires. The strengths and limitations of the range of data collection methods included are discussed drawing upon such issues as of the appropriateness of particular methods for particular age groups, or the most appropriate method to employ when exploring a particularly sensitive topic area.

Conclusions: There are a number of data collection methods utilised to undertaken research with children, teenagers and young adults. This review provides a summary of the current available evidence and an overview of the strengths and limitations of data collection methods employed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Young adults
  • Research methods
  • Data collection methods


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploration of the data collection methods utilised with children, teenagers and young people (CTYPs)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this