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Parents using the Internet to Find Information.

Australian parents find the internet is a valuable addition to information provided by professionals.

What was this paper about?

Parents whose children are diagnosed as deaf or hard or hearing in an infant screening program have to take in a lot of information and make some difficult decisions. They need to consider issues relating to technology (including cochlear implants and hearing aids), communication options, education and rehabilitation.

This 2005 study, based on 166 surveys completed, explores the behaviours of Australian parents' use of the internet after finding out their child is diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing.

"The survey confirmed findings that it's mainly mothers who search for health information."

The internet has become an important source of health information and parents of deaf or hard of hearing children find the internet a convenient and valuable addition to information provided by professionals, who may hold strong viewpoints.

What were the key findings?

  • Half of parents surveyed said they had talked to their doctor or hearing professional about information they found on the internet, and most of these parents felt that the professional was interested in the information they had found.
  • This study confirmed that parents continue searching for information throughout their child's life and it's mainly mothers who search for health information.
  • More work is needed to improve information and resources about education issues, mental health and deafness and day-to-day issues with a child or adolescent who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Parents surveyed also identified a lack of online resources related to children with a milder hearing loss or unilateral hearing loss.

Where can I read more about this paper?

Parents of Deaf Children Seeking Hearing Loss- Related Information on the Internet: The Australian Experience.

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