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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May;77(5):699-702. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.01.021. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Patterns of Internet and smartphone use by parents of children attending a pediatric otolaryngology service.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 1, Ireland. ronanglynn@doctors.net.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess Internet use and the influence of smartphones on health-information seeking by parents and carers of children with ENT conditions.

METHODS:

A paper-based questionnaire was circulated to parents attending otolaryngology services in both the out-patient and day-case settings at a tertiary referral centre.

RESULTS:

79.5% of questionnaires were returned. 29.9% had consulted the Internet for ENT-related information. Factors associated with increased rates of ENT-related online activity included younger age, university education, and access to a smartphone (all p ≤ 0.001). 65.7% and 57.7% had found the information which they had found online to be understandable and helpful, respectively; however, just 25.5% felt that it had influenced the medical decisions they had made for their child. 50.3% had previously or intended to discuss information found online with their surgeon. 9.2% had searched online for information regarding their child's surgeon; 19.6% of these said that this had been a factor in choosing that particular surgeon. On ranking 8 information sources in terms of importance (scale 0-5), the ENT Surgeon ranked as most important (mean=4.63), whilst the Internet ranked lowest (3.10). 48.6% of respondents or their partners had an Internet-enabled smartphone; 45.2% said they would definitely use an iPhone app regarding their child's condition if one was available. 36.1% reported they would definitely use the Internet in the future.

CONCLUSIONS:

Whilst online sources must increasingly be considered in the dialogue with parents, it is clear that parents still rate the clinical team as most important for information gathering. Clinician-provided websites and smartphone applications may be the key to ensuring the provision of quality information into the future.

PMID:
23434200
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.01.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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