Major Project Research

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2008 Spring Grads
Betty Yundt

Purpose: Families of children with disabilities require information regarding interventions and services across the life span. Information needs are particularly high in the early stages when recognizing their child's issues and initiating services. The purpose of this study was to understand what information parents with young children require, how they prefer to receive it, and when.

Method: Twelve parents of children under 4 years of age receiving services from a rehabilitation program participated in one of three focus groups.

Findings: Using qualitative methodology and thematic analysis, three themes were identified: (1) effective learning strategies, (2) tailored and timely information giving, and (3) the interpersonal approach of the health care provider.

Conclusion: The results support the use of adult learning strategies and individualized information giving. Open, honest communication that enables a vision and offers realistic hope assists families in the understanding of their child's condition and planning for the future. The results from this project may guide the information-giving practice of health care providers.

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