Maria Zak is a paediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Neurology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Maria works in the Epilepsy Program – specifically with children with genetic epilepsies, and in the Epilepsy Diet Program. She also sees children with general neurological conditions. Maria is also cross-appointed as Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Maria is a co-investigator of many studies in paediatric epilepsy, sleep, and the ketogenic diet. She has a particular research interest in parental use of the internet and social media as sources of medical information and support. She also has previous experience in paediatric stroke and over fifteen years of paediatric surgical experience.
The Internet and social media provide a wealth of information and forums to exchange information and ideas with virtual communities and networks. Many parents of children with chronic conditions turn to the internet and social media for sources of medical information and support. However, is the information they find reliable? Are blogs, personal web pages, YouTube videos, tweets, and forums helpful or do they create confusion and angst for parents and caregivers? This presentation will look at the existing research on parental use of the internet and social media for information and support to answer some of these questions. The audience will be invited to participate and share their views and experiences using the internet and social media. The presentation will conclude with some practical advice on navigating the internet and social medial so that parents and learn to find reliable sources and critically evaluate content they find.
published apr 2013
last edit jul 2013