Aims The purpose of the paper is to present a recently completed, multicentred project, the Parent Learning Needs and Preferences Assessment Tool (PLAnT) study, in which we designed, developed and pre-piloted a tool to promote a standardised, multi-disciplinary approach to assessing parents’ learning needs/preferences. Health-care professionals spend considerable time teaching parents to safely manage their child’s long-term condition/s at home. However, previous research that explored the ways professionals teach parents, and the ways parents learn to manage their child’s condition, identified a need for a robust method of assessing parents’ learning needs as professionals can find it challenging to individualise parents’ skill and knowledge development.
Methods Phase 1: Data from qualitative interviews with 10 parents and 13 multi-disciplinary team professionals from 11 British children’s kidney units about their learning/teaching experiences were used to develop the PLAnT. Participants were then asked to comment on the PLAnT via qualitative interviews or an online survey. Phase 2: Thirteen parents were each then paired with one of nine professionals to test the PLAnT; feedback on the experience of administering and completing the PLAnT was then sought from these 22 participants via qualitative interviews. Data were analysed using Framework Analysis.
Results This presentation will explore and discuss development of the PLAnT, and the three key themes that emerged from phase 2 as we piloted it with professionals and parents.
Purpose: Why ask parents’ about their learning needs/preferences? To gain feedback on professionals teaching or identify prospective needs?
Process: What is the best way of identifying parents’ learning needs/preferences? Using a structured questionnaire or a semi-structured discussion?
Outcome: How can information about parents’ learning needs/preferences be used? Are professionals able and willing to adjust their practice to meet parents’ needs?
Conclusions Though professionals may develop an understanding of how to support parents’ learning over time, they can sometimes misjudge parents’ needs. Therefore, parents should routinely be asked about their learning needs/preferences. The PLAnT could be used to identify these needs, though further refinement, piloting and feasibility testing is required in future research to address the questions raised by the current study.
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