Use and satisfaction of the internet in obtaining information on brachial plexus birth palsies and its influence on decision-making

J Pediatr Orthop. 2006 Nov-Dec;26(6):781-4. doi: 10.1097/01.bpo.0000229971.93812.37.


The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of the Internet on parents regarding decisions for children with brachial plexus birth palsies (BPBP). A power analysis was performed to determine the appropriate sample size needed for estimating proportions in the general BPBP population. At least 100 surveys were needed for appropriate data analysis and 122 surveys were collected (100% response rate). Each participant filled out a 32-item survey on demographics, questions on Internet usage, and the influence of the Internet on care decisions. It is evident that parents commonly access the Internet. Of 122 participants, 108 (89%) searched the Internet for general BPBP information. Topics commonly researched include causes (76%), symptoms (70%), treatment/surgical options (84%), choice of physicians/surgeons (60%), and choice of hospitals/clinics (60%). Our study reveals that over half of the Internet users make clinical decisions based on their research and 98% report satisfaction with the outcome of their decisions. It is clear that parents of children with BPBP frequently use the Internet for information and available options regarding care for this rare condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Injuries / complications*
  • Birth Injuries / surgery
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / complications*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / surgery
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Paralysis / etiology
  • Paralysis / surgery*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*