Making choices: Why parents present to the emergency department for non-urgent care.
Objectives: This study aims to provide a better understanding of the motivations and actions of parents of children with non-urgent injury or illness who attend the emergency department at a tertiary paediatric hospital seeking care.
Design: A prospective questionnaire based survey of 355 parents aimed to ascertain information about parent care-giving and care-seeking behaviours prior to presentation at the emergency department with their child.
Results: A total of 355 parents were surveyed, representing 8% of the parents/carers presenting to the emergency department in a three month period for non-urgent (Australasian Triage System 4 & 5) care of their child. The factors identified were; parents rated their child’s condition as moderate to very serious (242 (68%)); two thirds of parents (234 (66%)) had sought advice prior to attending the emergency department; 54% (77) of the 137 children who attended with an injury presented promptly to emergency (i.e. within four hours of injury) whereas of the 216 presenting with an illness 41% (88) presented within two to seven days of the onset of the illness.
Conclusions: This study displayed the accuracy of ‘parental triage’, that is, parents assess their child’s health, and generally engage in appropriate care-giving and care-seeking behaviours before presenting to a paediatric emergency department. Highlighted are the deficiencies in current primary care services available to families and the perception that not all cases deemed as non-urgent by the emergency department are able to be dealt with in a primary care setting.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.