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A qualitative evaluation of parents' experiences of health literacy information about common childhood conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Christine Tapson
  • Amanda Lees
  • Sanjay Patel
This article reports the findings from a qualitative service evaluation of health literacy resources for parents of children aged 0-4 on six common paediatric conditions (abdominal pain, asthma/wheeze, bronchiolitis, diarrhoea/vomiting, fever and head injury). These have been launched across Wessex as part of the Healthier Together (HT) project and consist of a website and paper-based resources designed to provide easily accessible facts about common childhood conditions, advice on actions to take in the event of certain symptoms and when and where to seek medical help. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted to investigate parents’ experiences of and reactions to the resources. We sought an understanding of perceived effects on parental understandings and feelings about childhood illness and help seeking behaviours. We discuss findings under four main headings: Parental interaction with HT resources, Parental anxiety, Positive evaluation and Areas for improvement. Parents positively evaluated the aims of the project and the information provided. A small number gave examples of resulting behaviour change and several anticipated future changes. Parents expressed anxiety about childhood illness and making treatment decisions. They required simple and easy to navigate resources including prominent risk assessment information. Communication by health professionals that reassures and empowers parents was also seen as important. Whilst this was a small study we believe that the findings are of relevance to others producing, disseminating and explaining health information aimed at parents and other patient groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSelf Care: Advancing the Study & Understanding of Self Care
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018

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