Presentation - ECV2022-312
Supporting motor skill development: Parent and carer perspectives
Cherie Zischke, Charles Sturt University; Bond University, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rodney Pope, Charles Sturt University; Bond University, Australia (email@example.com)
Wayne Hing, Bond University, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nikki Milne, Bond University, Australia (email@example.com)
Alicia Spittle, The University of Melbourne, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background: Parents and carers are often the first to notice and raise concerns about their child’s motor development. It is imperative that health care workers and service providers understand what resources and supports parents and carers use to learn about motor development, and where parents and carers turn to when they are concerned.
- To outline parent and carer perspectives on available resources and supports used to assist their understanding of child motor skill development.
- To identify if parents and carers feel confident in being able to tell if their child is having difficulty with their motor skill development.
- To determine where parents and carers turn to for support when they have a concern regarding their child’s motor development and if they feel their access to these services is adequate.
Method: A cross-sectional survey design was used. An anonymous online questionnaire was developed using Qualtrics software and was distributed via social media to expecting or current parents and carers of children aged 0-16 years located in Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. Data were analysed descriptively using SPSS software.
Results: A total of 623 parents/carers completed the questionnaire across Australia (24.2%), New Zealand (18.1%) and the United Kingdom (57%); 44.4% of respondents reported receiving support or education about child development from another person including a child health nurse (n=122), general practitioner (n=57), paediatrician (n=52), physiotherapist (n=61), occupational therapist (n=41), speech pathologist (n=23), midwife (n=52) or other (n=126); 82.5% of respondents reported that they felt confident in being able to tell if their child was having difficulty with their motor skill development. Respondents specified several health professionals and online resources as places they would go to gain support if they were concerned about their child’s development, with 25% of respondents reporting that these services were inadequate in their area.
Conclusions: Most parents and carers feel confident in being able to identify if their child needs support with their motor development; however, less than half of all respondents reported receiving any support or education from health care workers. With only half of all respondents believing that the services available to them are adequate for their family, further work needs to be done by health care providers to ensure parents and carers have timely access to information and services regarding child development across Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Implications for children and families: As parents and carers, many of you feel confident in identifying if your child requires support with their motor development. However, many of you voiced that you do not have adequate services in your community to turn to for assistance. Health practitioners and service providers need to be aware of your needs and work at improving awareness of, and access to, services allowing you to receive support when you need it.
Implications for practitioners: Parents and carers are resourceful and use many methods to learn about child development; however, most parents learn about development without seeking advice/assistance from a health care provider. Most parents/carers feel confident in being able to determine if their child is having trouble with their motor skills; however, many report the health services as being inadequate in their community.
Funding: Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship
Key words: families’ voices, health, policy, community services, regional/rural communities, parent perspectives, carer perspectives, physiotherapy, service access, barriers
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: