Paediatric Health Professionals as Parent Educators: A Developing Role?

Jim Reeder, Jane Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to develop an improved understanding of the perception of health professionals regarding the provision of information to parents of children with long-term disabilities. The aim was to generate new perspectives, inform debate, and to identify practical suggestions for health professionals. This study adopted a qualitative approach, guided by a phenomenological methodology. Seven health professionals, working within an Integrated Children and Young Person’s Therapy Service of a single UK National Health Service (NHS) foundation trust, participated in semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The resultant data were analysed using a rigorous, systematic process of thematic content analysis. Two main themes were identified and discussed. Theme 1 was ‘parent readiness for information’; with subthemes 1A ‘assessing parent readiness’ and 1B ‘developing parent readiness’. Theme 2 was ‘role as information manager’. (It is acknowledged that a further theme ‘relationship with parents’ was identified; which will be presented and discussed in another article). The following conclusions were drawn. The health professional’s role, as a provider of information to parents of children with disabilities, is evolving and may now be more helpfully described as that of a parent educator. It is suggested that this may involve a shift in focus from content/timing of information provision to the development of parents as learners. It is also suggested that it would be useful for health professionals to explore opportunities for practice-based initiatives to support the development of the skills required for this role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

licensed under a Creative Commons License "Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivs 4.0 International" (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) which permits others to use the publication as long as the authors are appropriately cited.


  • health information provision
  • parent education
  • readiness for information


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