Making choices: Why parents present to the emergency department for non-urgent care

Williams, A., O'Rourke, P. and Keogh, S. (2009) Making choices: Why parents present to the emergency department for non-urgent care. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94 10: 817-820. doi:10.1136/adc.2008.149823

Author Williams, A.
O'Rourke, P.
Keogh, S.
Title Making choices: Why parents present to the emergency department for non-urgent care
Journal name Archives of Disease in Childhood   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-9888
Publication date 2009-04-23
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/adc.2008.149823
Volume 94
Issue 10
Start page 817
End page 820
Total pages 4
Editor Howard Bauchner
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ Group
Language eng
Subject C1
920501 Child Health
111707 Family Care
Formatted abstract
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 caregiving 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 3-month period for nonurgent
(Australasian Triage System 4 and 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 (ie, within 4 h of injury) whereas of the 216 presenting with an illness, 41% (88) presented within 2–7 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.
Keyword Parent and Child
Non-urgent Injury
Paediatric Hospital
Seeking Care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 34 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 08 Apr 2010, 12:12:23 EST by Fiona Mactaggart on behalf of Medicine - Princess Alexandra Hospital