For parents with sick children, the health care team is not the only source of receiving information, they try to use different sources. We aimed to evaluate the information seeking behavior of parents regarding health and medical issues.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on parents of children referred to Dr. Sheikh Hospital and Hazrat Rasoul Center, Mashhad, Iran, from 2016 to 2018. 550 people filled an indigenous reliable questionnaire (a tool to evaluate information seeking behavior of parents of sick children) with Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.934. The exclusion criterion was parental dissatisfaction with participating in the study. The questionnaire is organized in 40 questions and 6 sectionsincluding demographic information, needs and motivations about data search, Internet usage, questions about data resources, obstacles to data search, and impact of data.
Results: Parents searched various resources to obtain information about child health especially regarding the diagnosis of the child's disease, diet, and child growth and more than half of parents spent less than 2 hours per week for getting information. 31.8% of parents searched the Internet 2 to 5 times a week for health information. The most important reasons for parents to search the Internet were to get more information than what the doctor tells those (53.08%), and to look for alternative and traditional treatments (36.9%). According to parents, the most important limitation of the information obtained from the Internet can be its unreliability (63.09%).
The results showed that medical staff and the Internet had priority over other sources in obtaining information about the child's illness, however, health care team was trusted more by the respondents.