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Discharge communication: do parents hear what we say?

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Every day we send home children from our wards and emergency departments (EDs), with specific instructions to the parents about medication, follow-up and what symptoms to look out for. How much do they remember and then act on correctly? In many cases not much, according to a systematic review written by authors from New York (Glick A et al. Pediatrics 2017. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-4165). They scoured the literature for studies that examined parental knowledge and/or actual execution of instructions after discharge from children’s wards or EDs, but not neonatal units. They found 64 studies, most from North America (and interestingly none …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.