Objective: This review aimed to (1) identify parents' learning needs and preferences when sharing the management of their child's long-term/chronic (long-term) condition and (2) inform healthcare professional support provided to parents across the trajectory.
Methods: We conducted a literature search in seven health databases from 1990 to 2013. The quality of included studies was assessed using a critical appraisal tool developed for reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies.
Results: Twenty-three studies met our criteria and were included in the review. Three themes emerged from synthesis of the included studies: (1) parents' learning needs and preferences (2) facilitators to parents' learning, and (3) barriers to parents' learning.
Conclusion: Asking parents directly about their learning needs and preferences may be the most reliable way for healthcare professionals to ascertain how to support and promote individual parents' learning when sharing management of their child's long-term condition.
Practice implications: With the current emphasis on parent-healthcare professional shared management of childhood long-term conditions, it is recommended that professionals base their assessment of parents' learning needs and preferences on identified barriers and facilitators to parental learning. This should optimise delivery of home-based care, thereby contributing to improved clinical outcomes for the child.
Keywords: Child; Chronic illness; Healthcare professionals; Information; Long-term; Parent; Systematic review.
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