Health Information Needs of Parents/Caregivers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Needs Assessment
Parents/caregivers of children with developmental disabilities need information that will help them make decisions regarding their child's treatment and keep them safe and healthy. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Libraries propose to use a mixed-methods approach that will consist of semi-structured, focused interviews with key informants to develop a survey instrument that will then be used to collect data on the specific health information needs of parents/caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder who participate in equine assisted activities at Camp Able at Buffalo Gap near Abilene, Texas. Students enrolled in a Masters of Public Health program will receive training on ethical research involving human subjects and data collection procedures, and will assist librarians from TTUHSC in conducting focused interviews with assistants, teachers, and volunteers who assist and instruct children with autism spectrum disorder in equine-assisted learning activities at Camp Able of Buffalo Gap. We will present our findings to stakeholders by means of presentations to Key Stakeholders at Camp Able of Buffalo Gap, as well as local (Abilene and Lubbock area) caregiver support groups, and also share our findings with public health professionals and librarians by means of posters and presentations at professional meetings.