Factors determining parents’ decisions to bring their children to the pediatric emergency department for a minor illness.
By: Burokiene S, Raistenskis J, Burokaite E, Cerkauskiene R, Usonis V.
Medical Science Monitor 2017; 23: 4141-4148.
Summary: The number of children visiting Emergency Departments (EDs) is increasing in Lithuania. The aim of this study was to determine the factors influencing the parental decision to bring their child to the ED for a minor illness that could be managed in a primary healthcare setting. A total of 381 parents were interviewed using an original questionnaire based on Andersen’s behavioral model of healthcare utilization. Based on the assessment of the triage nurses, the need for emergency care to patients was distributed as follows: 298 patients (78.2%) needed non-urgent care and 83 patients (21.8%) needed urgent care. More than one-third (38.8%) of the parents reported that they came to the ED due to their child’s urgent care need and worsened child’s health; however, the opinion of ED professionals indicated only a fifth of patients required urgent care. Parents who brought their children to the ED without physician referral were five times more likely to visit the ED during evening hours and on weekends.