Publications by authors named "Marike Groenendijk"

2 Publications

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Reducing complexity: explaining inborn errors of metabolism and their treatment to children and adolescents.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2019 11 8;14(1):248. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Division of Metabolism, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) are a group of rare, heterogeneous and complex genetic conditions. Clinically, IEM often affect the central nervous system and other organs. Some carry the risk of progression and / or potentially life-threatening crises. Many patients have to adhere to lifelong dietary or drug treatment. The complexity of IEM makes it difficult for patients and caregivers to understand their pathophysiology, inheritance and therapy rationale. Especially patients reaching adolescence may have only limited knowledge of their condition since medical care has often entirely been handled by their parents. Knowledge about disease and treatment, however, constitute pillars of self-responsible disease management. Not many standardized patient education materials on IEM are available and their comprehensibility has not been systematically investigated.

Methods: We developed and tested patient education materials for school-aged children and adolescents with IEM. Informative texts and illustrations in paper form and as videos were developed by an international network of metabolic care professionals together with a graphic artist and experts for easy-to-read language. The materials were presented in standardized single or group training sessions to 111 individuals; first, to 74 healthy children and adolescents (recruited via public schools) and consecutively to 37 paediatric patients with IEM (phenylketonuria, galactosemia, urea cycle defects, lysosomal storage disorders) from six metabolic centres. Knowledge-gain was assessed by pre- and post-testing.

Results: Knowledge-gain was significant in healthy children and adolescents as well as in patients (p < .001, r =. -77 /. -70). Effect sizes were large in both groups (r = -.77 / -.70). This result was independent from family language and teacher-rated concentration or cognitive capacity in healthy children.

Conclusion: The newly developed patient education materials are a powerful tool to improve disease- and treatment-related knowledge. They facilitate communication between the medical team and children and adolescents with IEM and their caregivers.
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November 2019

Position statement on the role of healthcare professionals, patient organizations and industry in European Reference Networks.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2016 Jan 25;11. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A call from the EU for the set-up of European Reference Networks (ERNs) is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2016. ERNs are intended to improve the care for patients with low prevalent or rare diseases throughout the EU by, among other things, facilitating the pooling and exchange of experience and knowledge and the development of protocols and guidelines. In the past, for example where costly orphan drugs have been concerned, industry has played an important role in facilitating consensus meetings and publication of guidelines. The ERNs should provide a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals and patients to lead these activities in an independent way. However, currently costs for networking activities are not to be covered by EU funds and alternative sources of funding are being explored. There is growing concern that any involvement of the industry in the funding of ERNs and their core activities may create a risk of undue influence. To date, the European Commission has not been explicit in how industry will be engaged in ERNs. We believe that public funding and a conflict of interest policy are needed at the level of the ERNs, Centers of Expertise (CEs), healthcare professionals and patient organizations with the aim of maintaining scientific integrity and independence. Specific attention is needed where it concerns the development of clinical practice guidelines. A proposal for a conflict of interest policy is presented, which may support the development of a framework to facilitate collaboration, safeguard professional integrity and to establish and maintain public acceptability and trust among patients, their organizations and the general public.
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January 2016