Effects of an education and training intervention on caregiver knowledge of nonurgent pediatric complaints and on child health services utilization.

TitleEffects of an education and training intervention on caregiver knowledge of nonurgent pediatric complaints and on child health services utilization.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFieldston ES, Nadel FM, Alpern ER, Fiks AG, Shea JA, Alessandrini EA
JournalPediatr Emerg Care
Volume29
Issue3
Pagination331-6
Date Published2013 Mar
ISSN1535-1815
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Caregivers, Child Health Services, Child, Preschool, Common Cold, Educational Measurement, Female, Fever, Focus Groups, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Infant, Linear Models, Male, Pilot Projects, Primary Health Care, Surveys and Questionnaires, Urban Population, Wounds and Injuries
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to test the impact of an education and training intervention about management of common childhood illnesses on caregiver knowledge and health service use by an index child.

METHODS: This was a quasi-experimental, preintervention-postintervention pilot study of a primary care-based intervention among 32 caregivers of urban children aged 7 months to 5 years. Intervention consisted of a 90-minute educational activity developed after input from focus groups and taught by pediatric nurses; it addressed management of fever, colds, and minor trauma in children at home. Caregiver knowledge before, immediately after, and 6 months after intervention was tested using a written instrument. Health services utilization for an index child in the family was collected 6 months before and after intervention.

RESULTS: Caregiver knowledge, as assessed by mean score on the test instrument, increased immediately after the intervention. It was lower at 6-month follow-up but remained higher than pretest. Total health services utilization, adjusted for patient and caregiver factors, did not change significantly 6 months after the intervention. After-hours calls to the primary care physician increased from a mean of 0.33 to 1.46 per patient (P = 0.047), making it the only behavior with significant change. Preintervention health services utilization was the strongest positive predictor of postintervention health services use.

CONCLUSIONS: The primary care-based intervention led to increased caregiver knowledge regarding management of common minor childhood illnesses and to increased after-hours telephone use. There was no significant decrease in ED use. To reduce reliance on the ED for nonurgent conditions, additional strategies may be needed.

DOI10.1097/PEC.0b013e31828512c7
Alternate JournalPediatr Emerg Care
PubMed ID23426249