Some Parents of Children in Pediatric EDs Report Unmet Emotional Needs

20 percent of parents feel uncertain caring for their child after discharge
Some Parents of Children in Pediatric EDs Report Unmet Emotional Needs
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Three in 10 caregivers of a child seen in a pediatric emergency department have unmet emotional needs, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in PLOS ONE.

Samina Ali, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues surveyed 2,005 caregivers of children presenting to a pediatric emergency department (October 2018 to March 2020) to understand the extent to which caregivers’ emotional and communication needs were met during the emergency visit.

The researchers found that 71.7 percent of caregivers felt their emotional needs were met. Most (86.4 percent) identified communication with the doctor as good/very good, as did 83.4 percent for communication with their child’s nurse. Similarly, most participants rated caregiver involvement in their child’s care as good/very good (85.6 percent). Eight in 10 participants (81.8 percent) felt comfortable in caring for their child at home at the time of discharge. Meeting caregiver emotional needs and increased caregiver comfort in caring for their child’s illness at home were associated with lower caregiver anxiety scores, caregiver involvement in their child’s care, satisfactory updates, and having questions adequately addressed.

"I think these results are going to be very persuasive for decision-makers in health-care institutions to help them make resource allocations and to design additional services and support for families," coauthor Shannon Scott, R.N., Ph.D., also from the University of Alberta, said in a statement.

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