Parental information use in the context of newborn bloodspot screening. An exploratory mixed methods study.

Research paper by Stuart G SG Nicholls, K W KW Southern

Indexed on: 22 Feb '12Published on: 22 Feb '12Published in: Journal of Community Genetics


The aim of this study was to investigate how parents select and use information sources when considering newborn bloodspot screening. Mixed methods approach using semi-structured interviews (n = 18) and a self-completion postal questionnaire (n = 154) conducted with parents of children who had undergone newborn bloodspot screening. Qualitative data was assessed using a thematic analysis approach with quantitative data analyzed using multinomial logistic regression. Parents used a limited range of information. In the UK, maternity services are largely delivered by the midwife and the healthcare practitioner was the main information source for parents, with only half of parents using official health service leaflets. Barriers included the provision of information post-natally and with other non-healthcare materials. Neither number of children, age group, education level, nor income were significantly associated with the number of information sources used. Nor were they associated with the information source indicated as most important. The midwife is well placed to act as a gatekeeper for parents seeking information about newborn bloodspot screening. Even when additional sources are used, the midwife remains a prominent source of information. Furthermore, the use of written materials is dependent upon appropriate delivery and consequently delivery is essential to information use.