Table 4

Summary of the main qualitative findings

Summary of the main findingsMethods and/or data sources contributing to study findingCERQual assessment of confidence in the findingsExplanation of CERQual assessment
Value of the content
All those interviewed found the IHC podcast to be valuable. They felt that it provided relevant information and new knowledge and skills for assessing health information.
Two focus group discussions, 15 individual interviews and responses to the test completed immediately after listening to the podcast.ModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of the data.
Quality of the podcast
Clarity of the podcast
 The podcast was clear and understandable to people in the target audience for which it was prepared.
  •  Offering the parents the podcast in their first language—Luganda accorded the podcast more clarity.

Two focus group discussions and 16 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology limitations, relevance, coherence or adequacy of the data.
  • Listeners felt that the explanations that the IHC podcast provided were clear and sufficient and that any questions they had were answered by the end of each episode.

All three focus group discussions and 18 individual interviewsHighVery minor concerns regarding methodology limitations, relevance, coherence or adequacy of the data.
Length of the episodes and podcast
  •  For the most part, participants felt that the length of the podcast episodes and the number of episodes was appropriate.

One focus group discussion and 14 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology limitations, no concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence, moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
  • When participants complained about the length for the most part, it was because of the perception that the episodes were long. Long episodes could have influenced how some participants understood the message of the podcast.

One focus group discussion and seven individual interviewsLowModerate methodology limitations (data are from individual interviews only), No concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence, moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
Organisation of the podcast
  •  Participants felt that the podcast was well organised, although the reasons that they gave for this varied.

Two focus group discussions and six individual interviewsLowMinor concerns regarding methodology. No concerns regarding relevance. Moderate concerns regarding coherence, serious concerns regarding adequacy of data.
Listening pattern
  •  The majority of participants found it suitable to listen to two episodes per week for about 7 weeks when visited by the research assistants, and to be able to listen to the podcast at their convenience after that.

Nine individual interviewsLowModerate concerns regarding methodology (data from only individual interviews). No concerns regarding relevance or coherence but there are moderate concerns regarding the adequacy of data. Data were from less than half of the interviewees.
  • Episodes were well spaced. Listening to the podcast once a week was sufficient.

11 individual interviewsLowModerate concerns regarding methodology limitations (data from individual interviews only). No concerns regarding relevance or coherence but there are moderate concerns about the adequacy of data. Data were from slightly more than half of the interviewees.
Delivery of the podcast
  •  A podcast delivered by research assistants facilitated listening to the entire podcast and reflecting on it by making it convenient to listen and providing personal support. It also made it possible for others (family and neighbours) to listen to the podcast together with the participants.

All three focus group discussions and almost all (17) individual interviewsHighVery minor concerns regarding methodology limitations, relevance, coherence or adequacy of data.
Child’s school environment
  •  Some parents, whose children were in intervention schools, were motivated to participate by their children and wanting to learn what their children were learning.

Two focus group discussions and 11 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology limitations, no concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence, moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
  • Parents were motivated to participate by headteachers and teachers, whom they trusted.

Two focus group discussions and 11 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology limitations, no concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence, moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
  • Few or no parents attended meetings or were recruited to participate at some schools.

Observations from investigators’ notesLowSerious concerns regarding methodology limitations, moderate concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence, moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
Education of the target audience
  •  In general, parents’ level of formal education did not appear to influence how they listened to the podcast or their overall understanding of the podcast.

One focus group discussion, 10 individual interviews and parents’ scores on a test completed immediately after listening to the podcast.ModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology (data from one focus group discussion, 10 interviews and quantitative results from the test completed immediately after listening to the podcast). No concerns regarding relevance or coherence but there are minor concerns regarding the adequacy of data as most of it came from 10 interviews.
  • Participants’ level of formal education and comfort with numbers may have had an impact on their understanding of Key Concepts that small studies and single studies can be misleading.

One focus group discussion and three individual interviewsLowSerious concerns regarding methodology (data are from three individual interviews and one FGDs), no concerns regarding relevance. No concerns regarding coherence but there are serious concerns regarding adequacy of data.
Participants’ attitudes
  • Participants had positive attitudes towards learning new information, science and critical thinking.

Two focus group discussions and 19 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of data.
Listening environment and technology
  •  Most participants did not encounter difficulties while listening to the podcast. A quiet listening environment and making sure that the batteries in the portable media player are charged could help prevent interruptions and facilitate listening.

Two focus group discussions and almost all (17) individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of data.
  • Having a mechanism (MP3 player) that allowed participants to store and listen to all the episodes again in their convenient time enabled the parents to listen more frequently and at their own convenience.

Two focus group discussions and 17 individual interviews and quantitative resultsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of data.
  • Participants who were in a busy and noisy place found difficulties listening, which might have affected how they listened and understood the content of the podcast.

Observations from two focus group discussions, 11 individual interviews and investigators notes.HighVery minor concerns regarding methodological limitations, relevance, coherence or adequacy
Participants’ expectations
  •  Some participants expected to hear messages about how to manage common health conditions rather than messages about how to assess the trustworthiness of treatment claims. Nonetheless, most participants understood the purpose of the podcast after listening to it and most listened to the entire podcast.

18 individual interviews, one focus group discussion and investigators’ observation notes.HighVery minor concerns regarding methodological limitations, relevance, coherence or adequacy
Participants’ beliefs
  •  Many participants had prior beliefs about treatments that were in conflict with messages in the IHC podcast. This did not appear to interfere with their listening to the podcast but might have affected their understanding of the podcast.

Two focus group discussions and almost all 20 individual interviewsHighVery minor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of the data.
  • Some of the participants’ beliefs persisted after listening to the podcast.

Two focus group discussions and four individual interviewsLowModerate concerns regarding methodology (data are from individual interviews and FGDs), no concerns regarding relevance or coherence, but there are serious concerns regarding adequacy of the data.
Appropriateness of the podcast
  •  Parents found the podcast to be relevant and engaging.

Two focus group discussions and 16 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence and adequacy of the data.
Credibility
  •  Participants found the podcast to be credible. Most of the credibility was related to the high quality of production, believable messages and that it was produced by a reputable organisation.

Two focus group discussions and 14 individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy of data.
Effort
  •  Participants felt that the podcast required very little effort to listen to.

One focus group discussion and eight individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy.
Entertainment
  •  All those interviewed found the IHC podcast and song to be entertaining and engaging. The skits made the explanations non-threatening, facilitated understanding and made the messages memorable.

Two focus group discussions and almost all individual interviewsHighVery minor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence or adequacy.
Motivation to listen and learn
  •  Key factors that motivated participants to listen to the podcast included the perceived value of what they were learning, its practical application to daily life, and that the podcast was entertaining and enjoyable.

Two focus group discussions and almost all individual interviews.HighVery minor concerns regarding methodology, relevance, coherence and adequacy of data.
Competing messages
  •  Participants listened to competing messages, but those messages did not appear to have influenced how they listened to the podcast.

13 individual interviewsLowModerate concerns regarding methodology (data from individual interviews only). No concerns regarding relevance or coherence but there are moderate concerns about the adequacy of data.
  • Listening to the IHC podcast led participants to be more critical and aware of health advice that was given in other messages without providing a basis for the advice.

Two focus group discussions and seven individual interviewsModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology (data from individual interviews only). No concerns regarding relevance or coherence but there are moderate concerns about the adequacy of data having come from only seven interviews.
Adverse and beneficial effects
  •  Listening to the IHC podcast led some participants to question more and be more critical of claims unrelated to health and treatments.

Two focus group discussions and eight individual interviews.ModerateMinor concerns regarding methodology. No concerns regarding relevance or coherence. Moderate concerns regarding adequacy of the data.
  • FGDs, focus group discussions; IHC, informed health choices.