Anyone who has a kid or knows a kid can confirm that kids ask lots of question. They ask everything from why the grass is green to why the sky is blue. As a parent you probably find yourself dedicating a good portion of your day to answering questions. You probably also find yourself having lots of questions.
When a child gets diagnosed with ADHD it is natural for parents to have lots of questions. With the unknown, there is a lot of uncertainty about what’s normal. Have you wondered where you can turn to find answers? As our experience with technology has changed, so has our method for finding the answers to our most pressing questions. In the meantime, researchers from all around the world have been on the hunt to understand more about the questions guardians have and where they’re turning for more information about ADHD.
Parents in Other Countries
Researchers in Australia, Italy and Spain have all studied parents of children with ADHD.
In 2010 Australian researchers found that 86% of parents of children with ADHD were getting information from physicians. However, in recent years the Internet has become more accessible and included more content, which has changed the way people search for information.
More recently in 2013, Italian researchers expanded on the Australian study and investigated what kinds of parents were seeking health-related answers online. They found that the majority of parents that turned to Internet searches were moms who were unsatisfied with the information they had received from their child’s general practitioner.
Meanwhile during the same year in Spain, researchers examined the quality of information available on ADHD websites. Their study focused on the 10 top ranked websites in Spain. Researchers found that the quality of information found on these websites was quite low. However, even with low quality information parents who viewed these sites were more knowledgeable about ADHD and more motivated to find treatment for their child.
Parents in the United States
Adam Sage, PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was fascinated with the research done overseas and was curious to see how these findings applied to American parents. At the beginning of this year he published a study in Clinical Pediatrics that investigated what kind of questions American parents are asking and where they are looking for answers.
What kinds of questions are parents asking?
Sage and his team found that the most common question that parents had about their child’s ADHD revolved around ADHD medication and the long-term effects of this medication. The top asked question was “What are the long-term effects of my child taking the ADHD medicine?” Other common questions that parents had included what could be done at home to help with ADHD and if the child would ever be able to stop taking the medication.
Where are parents looking for answers?
Sage and his research team found that 87% of parents searched the Internet for ADHD information and 81% of parents searched the Internet for information about ADHD medication.
The study investigated what were the top websites parents were using to get their information. They found that 74% of parents used WebMD to get more information about their child’s ADHD, while 20% of parents used Google and 14% of parents used Message boards.
More heads are better than one
All of these studies make it apparent that parents are turning to the internet to gather additional information about their child’s ADHD. Although the information that is being gathered by parents from WebMD, Google, and other websites can vary in its validity, the internet allows parents access to a wealth of information. The internet offers parents information about treatments and products that can help with a child’s diagnosis or tips for overcoming challenges and celebrating successes that make up daily living. With the speed of innovation happening for these families, it’s exciting that we live in an age where we can do our own research, answer some of our own questions, and then collaborate with specialists to find the best solution for our health-related questions.
What do you think?
Do you have a similar experience when faced with an ADHD diagnosis? Did you look elsewhere for information about your child’s ADHD? Let us know in the comment section below!