Finding Top Tips for Tiny Toes: A thematic analysis of internet-based information about children’s foot health

Lisa Hodgson, Charlotte Grwocott, Anita Williams, Chris Nester, Stewart C. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose
Parents use diverse strategies to source information on their children’s health and the internet offers a convenient method for this. Foot development, foot health and foot care are important, but often overlooked, components of childhood and it is important to understand what information is available to parents when they are searching the internet for advice. The aim of this study was to explore the content of internet-based resources about children’s foot health and foot development, to characterise the typical health messages that parents find online.
Eighty-one key words were entered into three internet search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) and primary and secondary sources were collated for analysis. A thematic analysis was undertaken.
Nine primary themes were identified: (1.) Shoes; (2.) Stages of Development; (3.) Socks and other clothing; (4.) Movement and Actions; (5.) Foot and limb development; (6.) Footcare practices; (7.) Accessing Health Professionals; (8.) Relationships between general health and foot health; (9.) Influencing Parent Behaviours.
The study outlines the breadth of web-based information about children’s foot health. Shoes were the primary focus of online information and commercial resources were more prominent than health resources. Credible and authoritative health-based websites may not be as visible compared with commercial sources of information and may not reach the intended audiences. This could introduce doubt about the validity of information conveyed in the most visible resources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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