Parental views on the management of young children with respiratory tract infections in primary care -a pilot study

Emma Fake, Amanda Lees, Christine Tapson, Sanjay Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Abstract
Background: Local primary care data shows a 24% increase in the rate of acute presentations
with common self-limiting infections for children aged 0-4 years between 2015/16 - 2016/17. As
rates of serious illness have decreased, this means increasing numbers of presentations could be
managed elsewhere. Although parents rarely expect antibiotics, they are often perceived to want them by clinicians; potentially resulting in more antibiotic prescriptions and driving future health-seeking
behaviour.
Aims: To explore parent expectations, concerns and opinions about the primary care management of
children presenting with respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
methods: Semi-structured interviews with parents of children aged 0-4 years presenting to primary care clinicians with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. Analysis involved thematic review.
Results: Parents used experience or ‘parental instinct’ when deciding to consult; this was due to
seeing a similar illness before and receiving treatment, or alternatively having never seen this illness and being unsure of what to do. Parents saw the usefulness of written information describing actions to take and when to consult when their child was unwell. There was an about even split between those
preferring paper and those preferring web-based resources. All parents sought input from a clinician for reassurance.
Conclusion: Better understanding of parent expectations when consulting clinicians with unwell
children could facilitate a more effective consultation. Parents expect reassurance about their child’s illness, but inconsistent advice and management from healthcare professionals, such as prescribing antibiotics, act to increase parental anxiety and potentially drives future health-seeking behaviour. Changing the way clinicians communicate, including the use of consistent messages, may have a
positive impact during current and future acute illnesses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalSelf Care
Volume9
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Health information
  • health literacy
  • self-care
  • childhood illness
  • children
  • parents
  • anxiety.

Cite this

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title = "Parental views on the management of young children with respiratory tract infections in primary care -a pilot study",
abstract = "AbstractBackground: Local primary care data shows a 24{\%} increase in the rate of acute presentationswith common self-limiting infections for children aged 0-4 years between 2015/16 - 2016/17. Asrates of serious illness have decreased, this means increasing numbers of presentations could bemanaged elsewhere. Although parents rarely expect antibiotics, they are often perceived to want them by clinicians; potentially resulting in more antibiotic prescriptions and driving future health-seekingbehaviour.Aims: To explore parent expectations, concerns and opinions about the primary care management ofchildren presenting with respiratory tract infections (RTIs).methods: Semi-structured interviews with parents of children aged 0-4 years presenting to primary care clinicians with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. Analysis involved thematic review.Results: Parents used experience or ‘parental instinct’ when deciding to consult; this was due toseeing a similar illness before and receiving treatment, or alternatively having never seen this illness and being unsure of what to do. Parents saw the usefulness of written information describing actions to take and when to consult when their child was unwell. There was an about even split between thosepreferring paper and those preferring web-based resources. All parents sought input from a clinician for reassurance.Conclusion: Better understanding of parent expectations when consulting clinicians with unwellchildren could facilitate a more effective consultation. Parents expect reassurance about their child’s illness, but inconsistent advice and management from healthcare professionals, such as prescribing antibiotics, act to increase parental anxiety and potentially drives future health-seeking behaviour. Changing the way clinicians communicate, including the use of consistent messages, may have apositive impact during current and future acute illnesses.",
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Parental views on the management of young children with respiratory tract infections in primary care -a pilot study. / Fake, Emma; Lees, Amanda; Tapson, Christine; Patel, Sanjay.

Vol. 9, No. 4, 24.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Fake, Emma

AU - Lees, Amanda

AU - Tapson, Christine

AU - Patel, Sanjay

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Y1 - 2018/10/24

N2 - AbstractBackground: Local primary care data shows a 24% increase in the rate of acute presentationswith common self-limiting infections for children aged 0-4 years between 2015/16 - 2016/17. Asrates of serious illness have decreased, this means increasing numbers of presentations could bemanaged elsewhere. Although parents rarely expect antibiotics, they are often perceived to want them by clinicians; potentially resulting in more antibiotic prescriptions and driving future health-seekingbehaviour.Aims: To explore parent expectations, concerns and opinions about the primary care management ofchildren presenting with respiratory tract infections (RTIs).methods: Semi-structured interviews with parents of children aged 0-4 years presenting to primary care clinicians with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. Analysis involved thematic review.Results: Parents used experience or ‘parental instinct’ when deciding to consult; this was due toseeing a similar illness before and receiving treatment, or alternatively having never seen this illness and being unsure of what to do. Parents saw the usefulness of written information describing actions to take and when to consult when their child was unwell. There was an about even split between thosepreferring paper and those preferring web-based resources. All parents sought input from a clinician for reassurance.Conclusion: Better understanding of parent expectations when consulting clinicians with unwellchildren could facilitate a more effective consultation. Parents expect reassurance about their child’s illness, but inconsistent advice and management from healthcare professionals, such as prescribing antibiotics, act to increase parental anxiety and potentially drives future health-seeking behaviour. Changing the way clinicians communicate, including the use of consistent messages, may have apositive impact during current and future acute illnesses.

AB - AbstractBackground: Local primary care data shows a 24% increase in the rate of acute presentationswith common self-limiting infections for children aged 0-4 years between 2015/16 - 2016/17. Asrates of serious illness have decreased, this means increasing numbers of presentations could bemanaged elsewhere. Although parents rarely expect antibiotics, they are often perceived to want them by clinicians; potentially resulting in more antibiotic prescriptions and driving future health-seekingbehaviour.Aims: To explore parent expectations, concerns and opinions about the primary care management ofchildren presenting with respiratory tract infections (RTIs).methods: Semi-structured interviews with parents of children aged 0-4 years presenting to primary care clinicians with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. Analysis involved thematic review.Results: Parents used experience or ‘parental instinct’ when deciding to consult; this was due toseeing a similar illness before and receiving treatment, or alternatively having never seen this illness and being unsure of what to do. Parents saw the usefulness of written information describing actions to take and when to consult when their child was unwell. There was an about even split between thosepreferring paper and those preferring web-based resources. All parents sought input from a clinician for reassurance.Conclusion: Better understanding of parent expectations when consulting clinicians with unwellchildren could facilitate a more effective consultation. Parents expect reassurance about their child’s illness, but inconsistent advice and management from healthcare professionals, such as prescribing antibiotics, act to increase parental anxiety and potentially drives future health-seeking behaviour. Changing the way clinicians communicate, including the use of consistent messages, may have apositive impact during current and future acute illnesses.

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