Priority information needs in parents of children with asthma: results from a survey using a paired comparison approach.

Kerry, G F, Caress, A L, Beaver, K orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323, Custovic, A, Woodcock, A and Murray, C S (2005) Priority information needs in parents of children with asthma: results from a survey using a paired comparison approach. Thorax, 60 (2). ii26-ii26. ISSN 0040-6376

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Background: Having appropriate information is important for parents of children with asthma, but evidence about the information parents would find most useful is lacking. Identifying the topics that are a priority for parents would help in tailoring asthma education.
Methods: A survey was undertaken of parents of children with established asthma attending an outpatient clinic at a district general hospital in the Northwest of England. Data were collected using a structured asthma specific information needs questionnaire, which employed a Thurstonian paired comparisons approach. This consisted of all possible pairings of nine ‘‘core information needs’’, previously identified in adults with asthma (Caress, et al. Patient Educ Couns 2002;47:319–27), adapted for use with parents of children with asthma.
Results: Parents of 29 children (child’s median age 8.0 years, IQ range 5.1–12.3; median time since asthma diagnosis 3.7 years) completed the survey. Information needs were prioritised as shown in the table (information needs with Thurstone scale values). Six (20%) respondents were satisfied/very satisfied with their level of information about their current top priority area, while six (20%) were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied. The majority of parents (25/29) were unable to identify additional information needs, while three parents highlighted the need for information on action to take when their child was unwell (that is, an asthma action plan). The majority of parents stated that they would most prefer to receive information from their child’s doctor (22/29) and/or asthma nurse (12/29). Main reasons for this choice were ‘‘confidence in their knowledge’’ and ‘‘familiarity with their child’s asthma’’.
Conclusion: Further work is required to better understand why parents value specific items. Some parents identified the need for an asthma action plan. A larger study is now required to validate these findings, in particular to establish whether information about self-management plans needs incorporating into the instrument.

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