Oral rehydration solution for acute diarrhea prevents subsequent unscheduled follow-up visits

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 09/1999; 104(3):e29. DOI: 10.1542/peds.104.3.e29
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) for the treatment of acute diarrhea remain an underutilized therapy in the United States, despite multiple clinical trials confirming their efficacy and safety. Economic barriers to their use have been identified.
To determine whether providing ORS to patients at the time of their office visit for acute diarrhea can increase ORS utilization and reduce unscheduled follow-up visits.
Randomized, controlled clinical trial.
Seven health centers of a large health maintenance organization.
Children (N = 479) 0 to 60 months of age with acute diarrhea (at least three watery or loose stools in the previous 24 hours for </=7 days).
Prescription for 2 quarts of ORS filled for free at on-site pharmacy plus written instructions versus written instructions alone.
Self-reported use of ORS; unscheduled follow-up visits in office, urgent care, and/or emergency department setting.
Subjects in the intervention group were significantly more likely to use ORS after the initial office visit (85% vs 71%; RR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.08-1.32). Of the standard treatment group subjects, 40 (17.3%) sought unscheduled follow-up care for diarrhea versus 27 (10.9%) of the intervention group subjects (RR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.40-0.99). Subjects seeking unscheduled follow-up care tended to younger (15.7 vs 19.4 months old), have more stools (7.1 vs 6.2 stools), and more vomiting episodes (4.1 vs 3.0) in the 24 hours before initial evaluation than those not seeking unscheduled follow-up care. Multivariate analysis showed that randomization to the intervention group was associated with a 25% reduction in unscheduled follow-up visits for acute diarrhea.
Providing ORS to families at the time of their office visit for acute diarrhea is associated with a significant increase in ORS use and substantially reduces the need for unscheduled follow-up visits. Health maintenance organizations should consider routine provision of ORS to children presenting with acute diarrhea.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Diarrhea is a leading cause of mortality in children under the age of 5 y in developing countries. To our knowledge, no other studies have investigated the management of diarrhea in the Gambia. The aim of this study was to assess maternal knowledge, attitude, and practice in the causes, prevention, and management of diarrhea in children under the age of 5 y in the Gambia. Four hundred mothers with children who have diarrhea and are under the age of 5 y were randomly recruited. Data were collected using structured questionnaires, including demographic information, knowledge about diarrhea, attitude toward the management of diarrhea, and practice for the prevention and management of diarrhea. χ(2) and Student's t tests were used for the descriptive and quantitative analysis, respectively. Simple and multiple linear regressions were used to determine the association between the variables. A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The mean of maternal knowledge (K), attitude (A), practice (P), and knowledge-attitude-practice sum (KAP) scores were 14.4, 6.3, 13.2, and 33.9, respectively. The mean of knowledge scores were significantly higher in mothers who responded positively for germs (13.4 versus 12.6) and dirty hands (13.7 versus 13.0) as causes of diarrhea. Mothers with education had significantly higher knowledge (14.7 versus 14.2) and attitude scores (6.6 versus 6.1) in management of diarrhea. However, the study found a low use rate (4%) of oral rehydration solution in practice. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that maternal age was positively associated with practice (β = 0.061) and KAP scores (β = 0.102). The number of children in the family was positively correlated with attitude scores (β = 0.408). Socioeconomic status was positively associated with attitude (β = 0.549), practice (β = 0.841), and KAP scores (β = 1.887). The mothers have high knowledge scores in the management of diarrhea; however, use of oral rehydration solution is low among children with diarrhea under the age of 5 y in the Gambia. Higher maternal age and socioeconomic status are correlated with higher practice and KAP scores.
    Nutrition 11/2013; 29(11-12):1368-1373. DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2013.05.014 · 3.05 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute gastroenteritis is associated with significant morbidity in developed countries and each year is the cause of death of several million children in developing countries. Acute gastroenteritis is usually self-limiting. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is effective and successful in the majority of patients. Vomiting is common at the outset of viral gastroenteritis and can limit the effectiveness of ORT. Treatment with newer anti-emetic medications has been reported to facilitate ORT and to minimize the risk of dehydration and the need for intravenous hydration and hospitalization. The role of anti-emetic medications in the treatment of gastroenteritis-related vomiting is not clear. Some physicians agree with the use of anti-emetic medications because vomiting is unpleasant and distressing for the child and parents alike, and because vomiting can increase the likelihood of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and the need for intravenous hydration or hospitalization. Several surveys have shown that anti-emetic medications are commonly prescribed in the treatment of pediatric gastroenteritis and that adverse events are uncommon. Efficacy studies of the newer anti-emetic medications are now available and reveal that some are effective and help facilitate ORT. Other physicians disagree with the use of anti-emetic medications because acute gastroenteritis is a self-limiting condition, vomiting might help rid the body of toxic substances, there was previously a relative lack of published evidence of clinical benefit, and there are potential adverse events associated with the use of an anti-emetic medication. Anti-emetic medications that are currently available include ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron, dolasetron, ramosetron, promethazine, dimenhydrinate, metoclopramide, domperidone, droperidol, prochlorperazine, and trimethobenzamide. Randomized, placebo-controlled trials suggest that ondansetron is efficacious and superior to other anti-emetic medications in the treatment of gastroenteritis-related vomiting. A recent double-blind clinical trial showed that a single oral dose of ondansetron reduces gastroenteritis-related vomiting and facilitates ORT without significant adverse events. Ondansetron shows promise as a first-line anti-emetic, and judicious use of this agent might increase the success of ORT, minimize the need for intravenous therapy and hospitalization, and reduce healthcare costs. Ondansetron should be considered in situations where vomiting hinders ORT, but a larger randomized, placebo-controlled trial is necessary before the medication can be routinely recommended for the treatment of gastroenteritis-related vomiting in children.
    Paediatric Drugs 01/2007; 9(3). DOI:10.2165/00148581-200709030-00006 · 1.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) has been defined as an ambulatory care sensitive condition. The recommended treatment consists of oral rehydration and rapid reintroduction of food. Nevertheless, AGE remains an important cause of hospitalization. The objective of the present study was to analyze the patient characteristics, management, and costs associated with hospitalizations due to AGE in a pediatrics department. Patients and methods We conducted a prospective observational study of patients aged 1 month to 14 years old admitted to our hospital because of AGE over a 1-year period. Information was collected on clinical presentation, etiology, treatment, tests, length of hospital stay, and costs associated with the episode. Results AGE was the cause of admission in 16.5% of our patients (65 episodes, 62 patients) with two seasonal peaks (February-March and August). A causative agent was isolated in 68.6 % of the patients with a stool test (35 % rotavirus, 31.3% Salmonella, 1.9% Shigella). Although 74 % of the patients had mild dehydration, exclusive oral rehydration therapy was provided in very few patients: 89.2 % of the patients were treated with IV therapy and 20 % with antibiotics. The total length of stay was 206 days (mean 3.1 days). The direct medical cost was 44,254.74 € (median 710.46 €/patient, 95 % CI: 616.37-804.56 €) and the main component of this cost (82.9 %) was hospitalization. Conclusions AGE was one of the main causes of hospitalization in our department. The use of oral rehydration was low. The economic and social cost was considerable.
    Anales de Pediatría 10/2007; 67(4):368-373. DOI:10.1157/13110610 · 0.72 Impact Factor