Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Parent’s information seeking in acute childhood illness: what helps and what hinders decision making?

Neill, S., Jones, C. H. D., Lakhanpaul, M., Roland, D. T. and Thompson, M. J. (2015) Parent’s information seeking in acute childhood illness: what helps and what hinders decision making? Health Expectations. 18(6), pp. 3044-3056. 1369-7625.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Context: Acute illness is a universal experience in early childhood. Parents find it difficult to determine whether or not their child equires medical care and seek information to inform their decision making. Little is known about parents’ information seeking behaviour and what helps or hinders their decision making. Objective: This study aimed to explore parents’ use of information resources during decision making in acute childhood illness at home. Design/Method : This exploratory qualitative study used focus groups and interviews to collect data from parents of children under 5 years of age. Setting and participants: Twenty-seven parents were recruited in the East Midlands, UK, in South Asian and Gypsy/Travelling communities, a Children’s Centre and a private sector day nursery. Findings: Parents’ pre-consultation information seeking was dominated by the internet, albeit with limited success. Parents liked easy to access, professionally validated and simple messages with access to more detailed information. Some parents always sought information through personal contact, whilst others did so when independent information seeking failed. When consulting a healthcare professional, parents liked to be given information to refer to later, although the information received varied. Importantly, neither hard copy nor the internet was accessible for parents with low levels of literacy. Discussion and conclusions: Although there is a wealth of information parents can access independently, our findings indicate a need for easy access to clearly signposted, professionally validated resources and available in a range of formats provided through different delivery systems. One size does not fit all.
Additional Information: A pre-publication version of this article was made available electronically by the publisher on 20 October 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acute childhood illness, decision making, information resources, information seeking, parents, safety netting
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ370 Diseases of children and adolescents
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Creators: Neill, Sarah, Jones, Caroline H D, Lakhanpaul, Monica, Roland, Damian T and Thompson, Matthew J
Corporate Creators: ASK SNIFF Research Team
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Centre for Family Life
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society > Nursing
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Nursing
Research Centres > Centre for Health Sciences and Services
Research Centres > Centre for Psychology and Social Sciences
Date: December 2015
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 3044-3056
Journal or Publication Title: Health Expectations
Volume: 18
Number: 6
Language: English
ISSN: 1369-7625
Status: Published / Disseminated

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