Background All Emergency Departments strive to improve patient experience. Patients can have lower levels of satisfaction when their concerns are not addressed. Finding the time to communicate what procedures entail can be challenging. There are limited patient information leaflets in ED which focus on explanations of procedures, which can create anxiety for children and their parents.
Study aim To reduce anxiety, educate and improve satisfaction of both child and parent prior to an x-ray in a Paediatric Emergency Department, using the ‘Medikidz Explains X-Rays’ leaflet. Methods A prospective survey was distributed to two groups of children between the ages of 5–12 years requiring an x-ray. One group of 38 consecutive patients were given the leaflet prior to x-ray (leaflet group). Another group of 38 consecutive patients were not given the leaflet at all (non-leaflet group). Children and parents were surveyed over a period of 72 hours, before and after the x-ray. Anxiety was quantified using a visual analogue scale in children and a numerical scale in adults. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyse the data.
Results In the non-leaflet group 53% of children and 79% of parents had some level of anxiety prior to an x-ray, whereas in the leaflet group 34% of children and 55% of parents had some level of anxiety pre-x-ray.
32% of parents and 53% of children felt they were given enough information in the non-leaflet group whereas in the leaflet group 79% of parents and 95% of children felt they were given enough information.
In the non-leaflet group 37% of participants were satisfied with their x-ray experience whereas 66% of participants were satisfied in the leaflet group.
In the leaflet group 95% of children found the ‘Medikidz explains x-ray’ leaflet beneficial.
Conclusion In the leaflet group there was a statistically significant reduction in parental anxiety prior to an x-ray. Children demonstrated an improved understanding of the x-ray process and overall parent and child had improved satisfaction. This provided evidence to initiate a permanent change in this ED, which now provides this leaflet to each child (above the age of 5) who is having an x-ray.