Children sometimes wait 12 months or longer to access speech-language pathology services. Information on websites may support families’ active waiting for speech-language pathology; however, there are few user-friendly, evidence-based websites specifically designed for children and families for this purpose. The current study aimed to: (1) ascertain appropriate website content, format, features and functions; (2) evaluate the quality of existing speech and language sites and (3) obtain feedback on a prototype website. Method: A three-stage explanatory sequential mixed-methods design was employed. Stage 1 involved 119 participants completing an online questionnaire recommending website content, format, features and functions. Stage 2 involved evaluating the quality of 25 online sites about children’s speech and language. Stage 3 involved focus groups with 16 participants to explore aspirations and feedback on a website to support active waiting. Result: Participants wanted information about typical development and services to access while waiting; strategies to stimulate children’s speech and language development; simple web architecture; and high readability. High scoring sites contained evidence-based information from trustworthy sources. Strategies from the theory of preparative waiting arose in the focus groups. Conclusion: Participants considered easily identifiable, trustworthy sources of information, and user-friendly strategies and resources to be important on a website to support active waiting for speech-language pathology. The theory of preparative waiting may be a viable framework informing waiting for speech-language pathology for children with speech and language difficulties.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology|
|Early online date||07 May 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|