The Journal Abstract: February 2012

Tired of Seeing Your Patients in the ED? Let's Give Parent Education Another Look!

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The Journal – Abstract – February 2012


Tex Med. 2012;108(2):63.

This study was conducted to determine if a parent-oriented educational intervention reduces the use of emergency department (ED) services for the care of infants. Infants aged 7 days to 1 year and older children aged 2 to 10 years were tracked for 3 years in two separate primary care (PC) practices in Washington County, Texas, with the last year being the interventional study period. Also, infants aged 7 days to 1 year and older children aged 7 days to 5 years were tracked in a third PC practice in Burleson County, Texas. The study group consisted of all parents of patients aged 7 days to 1 year seen by the pediatric group in Washington County during the 1-year interventional period. Only parents of infants in the study group received a specific educational intervention booklet. Five separate control groups were followed in this study. The control groups received usual care with standardized patient information, but they did not receive the educational intervention booklet. Each group was evaluated by calculating its monthly ED utilization rate, which is the quotient derived from dividing the number of children from that particular group seen in the ED per month by the number of children from the same group seen in the PC clinic per month.  A difference of proportions test was applied to test for statistical significance regarding ED utilization. Compared with parents in the control group, parents receiving the intervention booklet (the study group) showed significantly (P < .05) lower use of ED services for care of their infants. We found no change in ED utilization for children of parents receiving other standard educational information. 

By Stuart J. Yoffe, MD; David A. McClellan, MD; Homer Tolson, PhD; Robert W. Moore, PhD; and Rebecca McKay, MA, MLIS  


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November 13, 2017