SRF031: How the ‘entourage’ uses online information to support parents in their social circle: A mixed methods research study
Reem El Sherif, MSc; Roland Grad, MD, CCFP, FCFP; Pierre Pluye, MD, PhD
Context: High quality online consumer health information (OCHI) can reduce unnecessary visits to health professionals and improve health. One way people use OCHI is to support others with health conditions. Members of an individual’s network may help them overcome e-health literacy barriers and illness challenges. Yet little is known on how people use OCHI with others, and the outcomes of said use. Objectives: To uncover OCHI outcomes when people search for and with members of their social circle. To test a theoretical model on the role of social support on OCHI outcomes. Human Subjects Review: Institutional Review Board approval from McGill University. Design: Convergent mixed methods study. Setting: Online parenting information website (naitreetgrandir.com/N&G). Instrument: N&G has implemented the validated Information Assessment Method (IAM4 parents) questionnaire since January 2019 and received over 54,000 completed questionnaires. IAM systematically documents and enhances reflective learning, evaluation of resources, and two-way knowledge exchange between information users and providers. Main outcome: Questionnaire responses on OCHI outcomes by participants will be analyzed statistically, responses will be compared between parents and non-parents (the entourage: grandparents, family, friends and neighbours). At least 30 entourage members will be recruited and interviewed to uncover perceived OCHI outcomes (up to saturation) and thematic analysis will be conducted. Quantitative and qualitative components will be conducted and analysed separately; results will be compared using a joint display to provide a complete picture. Anticipated Results: Better understanding of how people share OCHI on child well-being and development with others in their social circle, and what outcomes they experience. Theoretical model on the role of social support in OCHI outcomes will be revised and the IAM4parents will be adapted. This project will uncover gaps for future research and inform future intervention studies. Conclusion: This is an important topic for researchers, primary health care practitioners, and patients. By better understanding how people use information together, information providers can adapt information to meet both individual and group needs. Health care practitioners can target patients’ entourage with information for dissemination and use. Results will be used to inform the next phase: a qualitative interpretive study with OCHI users in Quebec.