Exploring parents’ reasons for attending the emergency department for children with minor illnesses: a mixed methods systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The number of EDs visit is on the increase, and the pressure on EDs is of significant concern worldwide. The usage of EDs by parents of children with minor illness is an important and still unresolved problem causing a burden to healthcare services. The aim of this study was to review the literature to summarise parental reasons for visiting ED for children with minor illness.

Method: Seven electronic databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus) were comprehensively searched during a 2-week period in August 2016 and updated between 11 and 20 June 2018. The study selection process was undertaken independently by two authors. Qualitative and quantitative studies that focused on the reasons for parents of children with minor illness to attend an ED were included. Studies were assessed for quality and data were analysed by means of narrative synthesis.

Results: Twenty-four studies were included. Eleven studies employed quantitative methods, eleven studies used qualitative methods and two studies used mixed methods. Parental reasons for using ED included perceived urgency, ED advantages (eg, faster service, superior ED resources and efficiency), difficulties with getting a general practitioner appointment, lack of facilities in primary healthcare services, lack of health insurance, reassurance, convenience and access.

Conclusion: This review identified some of the reasons why parents bring their children to the ED for minor illnesses highlighting the multifaceted nature of this problem. Understanding parental reasons behind their choice to use the ED may help us better design targeted interventions to reduce unnecessary ED visits and alleviate the burden on overstretched healthcare services. This review may help inform emergency care policy makers, researchers and healthcare staff to understand parents’ reasons for visiting the ED, to better meet their healthcare needs.
LanguageEnglish
Pages39-46
Number of pages8
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Volume36
Early online date02 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019

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Hospital Emergency Service
Parents
Delivery of Health Care
Emergency Medical Services
Health Insurance
Administrative Personnel
PubMed
General Practitioners
Primary Health Care
Appointments and Schedules
Research Personnel
Databases
Pressure

Keywords

  • Emergency Department
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Paediatric Emergency Department
  • Non-urgent ED use
  • Child with minor illness

Cite this

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title = "Exploring parents’ reasons for attending the emergency department for children with minor illnesses: a mixed methods systematic review",
abstract = "Background: The number of EDs visit is on the increase, and the pressure on EDs is of significant concern worldwide. The usage of EDs by parents of children with minor illness is an important and still unresolved problem causing a burden to healthcare services. The aim of this study was to review the literature to summarise parental reasons for visiting ED for children with minor illness.Method: Seven electronic databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus) were comprehensively searched during a 2-week period in August 2016 and updated between 11 and 20 June 2018. The study selection process was undertaken independently by two authors. Qualitative and quantitative studies that focused on the reasons for parents of children with minor illness to attend an ED were included. Studies were assessed for quality and data were analysed by means of narrative synthesis.Results: Twenty-four studies were included. Eleven studies employed quantitative methods, eleven studies used qualitative methods and two studies used mixed methods. Parental reasons for using ED included perceived urgency, ED advantages (eg, faster service, superior ED resources and efficiency), difficulties with getting a general practitioner appointment, lack of facilities in primary healthcare services, lack of health insurance, reassurance, convenience and access.Conclusion: This review identified some of the reasons why parents bring their children to the ED for minor illnesses highlighting the multifaceted nature of this problem. Understanding parental reasons behind their choice to use the ED may help us better design targeted interventions to reduce unnecessary ED visits and alleviate the burden on overstretched healthcare services. This review may help inform emergency care policy makers, researchers and healthcare staff to understand parents’ reasons for visiting the ED, to better meet their healthcare needs.",
keywords = "Emergency Department, Emergency Medicine, Emergency Nursing, Paediatric Emergency Department, Non-urgent ED use, Child with minor illness",
author = "Ahmet Butun and Mark Linden and Fiona Lynn and Jennifer McGaughey",
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day = "11",
doi = "10.1136/emermed-2017-207118",
language = "English",
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journal = "Emergency Medicine Journal",
issn = "1472-0205",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",

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T1 - Exploring parents’ reasons for attending the emergency department for children with minor illnesses: a mixed methods systematic review

AU - Butun, Ahmet

AU - Linden, Mark

AU - Lynn, Fiona

AU - McGaughey, Jennifer

PY - 2019/1/11

Y1 - 2019/1/11

N2 - Background: The number of EDs visit is on the increase, and the pressure on EDs is of significant concern worldwide. The usage of EDs by parents of children with minor illness is an important and still unresolved problem causing a burden to healthcare services. The aim of this study was to review the literature to summarise parental reasons for visiting ED for children with minor illness.Method: Seven electronic databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus) were comprehensively searched during a 2-week period in August 2016 and updated between 11 and 20 June 2018. The study selection process was undertaken independently by two authors. Qualitative and quantitative studies that focused on the reasons for parents of children with minor illness to attend an ED were included. Studies were assessed for quality and data were analysed by means of narrative synthesis.Results: Twenty-four studies were included. Eleven studies employed quantitative methods, eleven studies used qualitative methods and two studies used mixed methods. Parental reasons for using ED included perceived urgency, ED advantages (eg, faster service, superior ED resources and efficiency), difficulties with getting a general practitioner appointment, lack of facilities in primary healthcare services, lack of health insurance, reassurance, convenience and access.Conclusion: This review identified some of the reasons why parents bring their children to the ED for minor illnesses highlighting the multifaceted nature of this problem. Understanding parental reasons behind their choice to use the ED may help us better design targeted interventions to reduce unnecessary ED visits and alleviate the burden on overstretched healthcare services. This review may help inform emergency care policy makers, researchers and healthcare staff to understand parents’ reasons for visiting the ED, to better meet their healthcare needs.

AB - Background: The number of EDs visit is on the increase, and the pressure on EDs is of significant concern worldwide. The usage of EDs by parents of children with minor illness is an important and still unresolved problem causing a burden to healthcare services. The aim of this study was to review the literature to summarise parental reasons for visiting ED for children with minor illness.Method: Seven electronic databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus) were comprehensively searched during a 2-week period in August 2016 and updated between 11 and 20 June 2018. The study selection process was undertaken independently by two authors. Qualitative and quantitative studies that focused on the reasons for parents of children with minor illness to attend an ED were included. Studies were assessed for quality and data were analysed by means of narrative synthesis.Results: Twenty-four studies were included. Eleven studies employed quantitative methods, eleven studies used qualitative methods and two studies used mixed methods. Parental reasons for using ED included perceived urgency, ED advantages (eg, faster service, superior ED resources and efficiency), difficulties with getting a general practitioner appointment, lack of facilities in primary healthcare services, lack of health insurance, reassurance, convenience and access.Conclusion: This review identified some of the reasons why parents bring their children to the ED for minor illnesses highlighting the multifaceted nature of this problem. Understanding parental reasons behind their choice to use the ED may help us better design targeted interventions to reduce unnecessary ED visits and alleviate the burden on overstretched healthcare services. This review may help inform emergency care policy makers, researchers and healthcare staff to understand parents’ reasons for visiting the ED, to better meet their healthcare needs.

KW - Emergency Department

KW - Emergency Medicine

KW - Emergency Nursing

KW - Paediatric Emergency Department

KW - Non-urgent ED use

KW - Child with minor illness

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DO - 10.1136/emermed-2017-207118

M3 - Review article

VL - 36

SP - 39

EP - 46

JO - Emergency Medicine Journal

T2 - Emergency Medicine Journal

JF - Emergency Medicine Journal

SN - 1472-0205

ER -