Our work


Acutely Sick Kid Safety-netting Intervention Development (ASK SID)

July 2013 - July 2014
Funded by WellChild

Monica Lakhanpaul (Chief Investigator)
Sarah Neill (Principal Investigator - Northampton)
Damian Roland (Emergency Care Recruitment Advisor/Technology development content advisor)
Caroline Jones (Qualitative Data Analyst)
Natasha Bayes (Research Assistant - Northampton)
Laura Mullins (Parent Panel Representative)
James Kirkham-Maccallum (Parent Panel Representative)

The purpose of this project was to identify the content, presentation and delivery methods for an information resource to help parents decide when to seek help for a sick child. During the project 334 participants took part in the study; 77 parents with children under 5 years and 257 HCPs. They represented a range of social groups and professional practice backgrounds within the East Midlands. During the study, parents and HCPs took part in focus groups/interviews, workshops and online surveys. The focus groups/interviews were to identify what information should be included in an information resource for families on the five most common symptoms of childhood illness (breathing difficulty, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and rash). They also explored how the information resource should be presented, delivered and advertised. Extensive lists of ideas were generated by the focus groups/interviews. Dehydration was added as a sixth symptom, as it overlaps with other symptoms. Following this, workshops and online surveys enabled parents and HCPs to review the lists and prioritise the most essential elements to be included in the information resource. The result was a list of the essential things to include. Clinical experts reviewed this list to ensure that the information on childhood illness included was relevant, accurate and in line with national guidelines. Finally, parents reviewed and approved the final list.

The research produced large lists about what information parents should have access to in the resource for six common symptoms of childhood illness. Parents and HCPs want information on symptoms to include three main areas: Assessment (how to assess the child for signs of childhood illness), Management and Care (how to manage the illness and care for the child), and Explanation (explanations about why the illness is happening). Parents and HCPs also identified a range of different ways in which the information resource should be presented, delivered and advertised, suggesting that multiple formats should be considered during the development of the information resource. Differences among parents from different cultural groups were also identified when considering how to present, deliver and advertise the information resource, which should also be considered during the development of the resource in order to make it relevant to all parents.

Methods

A collaborative co-design mixed methods approach was used for this project to ensure that the resulting tool accepted by, and works for, both parents and health care professionals.

During the project 334 participants took part in the study; 77 parents with children under 5 years and 257 HCPs, representing a range of social groups and professional practice backgrounds within the East Midlands. During the study, parents and HCPs took part in focus groups/interviews, workshops and online surveys. The focus groups/interviews were to identify what information should be included in an information resource for families on the five most common symptoms of childhood illness (breathing difficulty, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and rash). They also explored how the information resource should be presented, delivered and advertised.

Extensive lists of ideas were generated by the focus groups/interviews. Dehydration was added as a sixth symptom, as it overlaps with other symptoms. Following this, workshops and online surveys enabled parents and HCPs to review the lists and prioritise the most essential elements to be included in the information resource. The result was a list of the essential things to include. Clinical experts reviewed this list to ensure that the information on childhood illness included was relevant, accurate and in line with national guidelines. Finally, parents reviewed and approved the final list.

Findings

Consensus was achieved on the information parents should have access to in the resource for the six common symptoms of childhood illness. Parents and HCPs agreed that information on symptoms should include three main areas:

  1. Assessment (how to assess the child for signs of childhood illness),
  2. Management and Care (how to manage the illness and care for the child), and
  3. Explanation (explanations about why the illness is happening).

Parents and HCPs also reached consensus on the different ways in which the information resource should be presented, delivered and advertised, suggesting that multiple formats should be considered during the development of the information resource. Differences among parents from different cultural groups were also identified when considering how to present, deliver and advertise the information resource, which should also be considered during the development of the resource in order to make it relevant

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