Improving the Provision of Health Information and Support to Parents and Caregivers through Online Data Collection

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As part of the ReadNPlay for a Bright Future initiative, an online survey was conducted to determine the preferences of parents and caregivers in regards to receiving health information and support and to identify opportunities to improve existing support groups in Northeast Tennessee. An anonymous online survey with ten closed-ended questions was designed on Survey Monkey and posted on social media sites of the ReadNPlay project, BABE Regional Breastfeeding Coalition, and local mothers’ support groups. After a two-week period, during which a reminder of the survey was posted, the results of the survey were summarized using Survey Monkey and Excel. A total of 39 surveys were collected. Of the 39 participants, all identified themselves as either a mother (97.44%) or other female caregiver (2.56%). Sixty three percent of mothers and caregivers wanted to receive support or health information through face-to-face support group meetings compared to 78.95% who wanted to receive the same information through social media and 68.42% who wanted to receive information via email. Less popular options for receiving health information and support include community events (60.53%), classes (44.74%), text messages (36.84%), childcare centers/schools (34.21%), handouts from healthcare providers (28.95%), and snail mail (21.05%). Forty six percent of respondents have attended support group meetings several times, 41.03% have never attended a support group meeting, and 15.38% have only attended a support group meeting once. Mothers and other caregivers identified the greatest barriers to participation in a support group as inconvenient timing (47.22%), lack of time (50%), inconvenient locations (47.22%), and lack of information about time and location (25%). Respondents were interested in receiving the following health and parenting information: learning/development (83.78%) breastfeeding (75.68%), active play (75.68%), behavior (72.97%), nutrition (64.86%), safety (45.95%), and prevention (40.54%). Mothers and other caregivers were interested in receiving the following types of support when they attend group meetings: socialization with other parents (81.58%), activities sponsored by community organization (78.95%), information about community resources (65.79%), parenting tips (63.16%), health information (44.74%), and food and supplies (34.21%).Additionally, when respondents were asked to identify preferred locations for support group meetings, the most popular option was a kid-friendly location (97.37%) followed by a community center (57.89%). The results obtained above are being used to improve existing support groups by providing parents and caregivers with child-friendly environments in which to socialize and receive a variety of parenting information, including information on learning and development.


Johnson City, TN

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