First Steps: parent health behaviours related to children's foot health

Lisa Hodgson, Charlotte Growcott, Anita E. Williams, Chris J. Nester, Stewart C. Morrison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Good foot health throughout childhood is important but remains poorly understood with few studies exploring this topic. The aim of this study was to define parents’ knowledge, practices and health-related perceptions of children’s feet.

    Method: A qualitative design was adopted. Semi-structured, one-to-one interviews were carried out with parents of children aged five years and under, recruited from South East and North West of England. Interviews explored parents’ views, beliefs and understanding of foot health in infancy and early childhood. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.
    Results: Eighteen interviews were conducted. Seven themes were identified relating to: (1) parents belief and knowledge about children’s foot health; (2) how parents use and share foot health information; (3) activities for supporting foot health and development; (4) footwear choices, beliefs and influences; (5) the way they access health professionals; (6) the way they search for foot health information; (7) developing practice(s) to support parents.
    Conclusion: The study provides the first insight into how parents view foot health in early infancy and childhood. The findings highlight the key foot health beliefs important to parents, how they learn about and what influences their decision making about caring for children’s feet, the way parents receive and seek information and how they access support for foot health concerns. The findings highlight the need for accurate, clear and consistent foot health messages and the important role health professionals have in signposting parents towards reliable and informative sources on foot health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)221-232
    JournalJournal of Child Health Care
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2019


    • Children
    • Foot health
    • Health information
    • online health information


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