We had the opportunity to present some of our “Little Footnotes” research at the College of Podiatry conference in Liverpool last year (November 2017). This was an important event as we were presenting our research for the first time. Being able to explain our research to others (i.e. podiatrists) allowed us to reflect on the progress that we have made over the past two years, and think about the meaning of our results.
On the day of the conference, after months of preparation, we headed down to the conference with our heads full of information. It was a busy day with many delegates in the room. Our presentation flowed well with a nice balance between the two of us; it was a pleasure to be there and share our findings.
An important point that we explored in our presentation was about how the internet has made it possible to find and read about anything, anywhere and at any time we need it. Indeed, a wonderful thing! However, as integrated as the internet is in our daily lives, it begs the question about how reliable this information is and how people use this to inform their health behaviours. We were also interested in how consistent these messages were.
Our presentation highlighted that parents were concerned about the quality, trustworthiness and age of the information presented online. It was evident that finding clear and consistent information was a challenge. Parents gravitated towards information from websites with a perceived authority e.g. NHS or professional bodies, often labelling them as good sources of information because they were from a UK source; whereas parent forums were viewed as less reliable sources of information. Parents also highlighted that foot health was not widely spoken about and instead seen as a confusing topic.
We concluded that there is a need to clearly understand children’s foot health and that the information available to parents needs to be more accessible and visibly signposted. In all, the experience left us eager to share more of our research with various audiences and to think about the impact of our work. We are continuing to make good progress with our project and look forward to presenting the next stage of our findings.