Parents’ safety netting behaviourParents’ pre-consultation information seeking was dominated by the internet, albeit with limited success. Some parents always sought information through personal contact whilst others did so when independent information seeking failed. When talking about the information they had received during consultations, although they did not always receive information, parents reported that they liked to be given information to refer to later, although the information received varied. Parents expressed a preference for safety netting information that was easy to access, professionally validated, using simple messages with access to more detailed information. Importantly, neither hard copy nor the internet was accessible for parents with low levels of literacy.
Health care professionals’ safety netting behaviourHealth care professionals defined safety netting as including advising parents about what to look for, when and where to seek help. Yet they also reported that its delivery was inconsistent, whether verbal or written. Safety netting was reported to be influenced by the clinician’s experience, confidence, time and knowledge, their perceptions of the parent’s anxiety, experience and competence. They also reported limitations to safety netting such as not knowing if the information had been understood or effective. No clinicians reported having received training in safety netting.