Using a think aloud methodology to understand physical activity Internet search experiences and preferences of parents of children/youth with disabilities


Parental support is an important correlate of physical activity (PA) among children and youth with disabilities (CYWD). PA information seeking is one aspect of parental support and the internet is a common tool that parents use to search for PA information specific to CYWD. There is little research regarding parents' of CYWD internet search needs in accessing PA information. The purpose of this study was to explore the PA internet search experiences and preferences of parents of CYWD. A sample of parents of CYWD (n=10) participated in a prompted think aloud process (i.e., verbalize thoughts) while searching for PA information online. The think aloud method allows parents to express their realities and experiences in their own words. Researchers observed and gathered information regarding parents' experience and preferences. Using an inductive thematic analysis of the parents' think aloud responses, the following emerged as key themes regarding online PA information needs: "decision-making information", "quality of websites", and "the searching approach". PA websites that provided sufficient and relevant information, such as types of supports available for CYWD were considered important decision-making criteria for parents with regard to registering their CYWD into a program. Online information is only valuable when it is accessible and addresses the needs and preferences of parents of CYWD. This research is a first step in informing the development of strategies to support parents to facilitate PA among CYWD through accessing useful PA information online.