The impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family

Merck Research Laboratories, North Wales, PA, USA.
BMC Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.93). 02/2009; 9(1):11. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2431-9-11
Source: PubMed


Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in young children and causes substantial morbidity and mortality. Although the clinical aspects have been well described, little information is available regarding the emotional, social, and economic impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family of a sick child. The objectives of this study were to: 1) assess the family impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis through qualitative interviews with parents; 2) compare the clinical severity of rotavirus-positive and negative gastroenteritis; 3) test a questionnaire asking parents to rank the importance of various factors associated with a case of rotavirus gastroenteritis.
The study enrolled parents and children (2-36 months of age) brought to one of the study sites (outpatient clinic or ER) if the child experienced > or = 3 watery or looser-than normal stools and/or forceful vomiting within any 24-hour period within the prior 3 days. The clinical severity of each child's illness was rated using a clinical scoring system and stool samples were tested for rotavirus antigen. Parents of rotavirus-positive children were invited to participate in focus group or individual interviews and subsequently completed a questionnaire regarding the impact of their child's illness.
Of 62 enrolled children, 43 stool samples were collected and 63% tested positive for rotavirus. Illness was more severe in children with rotavirus-positive compared to rotavirus-negative gastroenteritis (92% vs. 37.5% rated as moderate/severe). Seventeen parents of rotavirus-positive children participated in the interviews and completed the written questionnaire. Parents were frightened by the severity of vomiting and diarrhea associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis, and noted that family life was impacted in several ways including loss of sleep, missed work, and an inability to complete normal household tasks. They expressed frustration at the lack of a specific medication and the difficulty of treating the illness with oral rehydration solutions, but had a largely positive outlook concerning the prospect of a rotavirus vaccine.
A better understanding of how rotavirus gastroenteritis impacts the family can help healthcare providers ease parental fears and advise them on the characteristics of this illness, practices to prevent infection, and the optimal care of an affected child.

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    • "Although deaths are rare in industrialized countries, the health care burden of RGE-related hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits is substantial [8-10]. The impact of the rotavirus on families of infected children can be considerable as well [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus gastroenteritis (RGE) is the leading cause of diarrhea in young children in Oman, incurring substantial healthcare and economic burden. We propose to formally assess the potential cost effectiveness of implementing universal vaccination with a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) on reducing the health care burden and costs associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis (RGE) in Oman A Markov model was used to compare two birth cohorts, including children who were administered the RV5 vaccination versus those who were not, in a hypothetical group of 65,500 children followed for their first 5 years of life in Oman. The efficacy of the vaccine in reducing RGE-related hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) and office visits, and days of parental work loss for children receiving the vaccine was based on the results of the Rotavirus Efficacy and Safety Trial (REST). The outcome of interest was cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained from health care system and societal perspectives. A universal RV5 vaccination program is projected to reduce, hospitalizations, ED visits, outpatient visits and parental work days lost due to rotavirus infections by 89%, 80%, 67% and 74%, respectively. In the absence of RV5 vaccination, RGE-related societal costs are projected to be 2,023,038 Omani Rial (OMR) (5,259,899 United States dollars [USD]), including 1,338,977 OMR (3,481,340 USD) in direct medical costs. However, with the introduction of RV5, direct medical costs are projected to be 216,646 OMR (563,280 USD). Costs per QALY saved would be 1,140 OMR (2,964 USD) from the health care payer perspective. An RV5 vaccination program would be considered cost saving, from the societal perspective. Universal RV5 vaccination in Oman is likely to significantly reduce the health care burden and costs associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis and may be cost-effective from the payer perspective and cost saving from the societal perspective.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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    • "Children often suffer from prolonged [3] and severe illness; among hospitalized children, 19% have clinical sepsis, 7% seizures, and 4% require intensive care unit admission [4]. Apart from supportive care, healthcare providers have little to offer to relieve suffering [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The burden of acute gastroenteritis on children and their families continues to be enormous. Probiotics, defined as viable microbial preparations that have a beneficial effect on the health of the host, represent a rapidly expanding field. Although clinical trials in children with gastroenteritis have been performed, most have significant flaws, and guidelines do not consistently endorse their use. Methods/Design PROGUT is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, five-center, Canadian, emergency department trial. Children aged 3 months to 48 months who present between November 2013 and June 2017 with <72 hours of gastroenteritis symptoms will be assessed for eligibility. A total of 886 children will be randomized (1:1 allocation via an internet based, third party, randomization service) to receive 5 days of a combination probiotic agent (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and L. helveticus) or placebo. All participants, caregivers, and outcome assessors will be blinded to group assignment. The study includes three key outcomes: 1) clinical - the development of moderate to severe disease following an emergency department (ED) evaluation that employs a validated clinical score (Modified Vesikari Scale); 2) safety - side effect; and 3) mechanism - fecal secretory immunoglobulin A levels. Discussion Definitive data are lacking to guide the clinical use of probiotics in children with acute gastroenteritis. Hence, probiotics are rarely prescribed by North American physicians. However, the following current trends obligate an urgent assessment: 1) probiotics are sold as food supplements, and manufacturers can encourage their use while their relevance has yet to be established; 2) North American and European government agencies remain concerned about their value and safety; 3) some institutions are now recommending the routine use of probiotics; and 4) parents of affected children are often providing probiotics. With probiotic consumption increasing in the absence of solid evidence, there is a need to conduct this definitive trial to overcome the limitations of prior work in this field. Trial registration NCT01853124; first registered 9 May 2013.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Trials
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    • "In cases of severe dehydration, which particularly affects children under 2 years, parents may have difficulties ensuring adequate hydration. These difficulties – added to the burden of caring for a sick child – can cause considerable anxiety [4]. Rotavirus gastroenteritis has a major family and social impact, mostly related to productivity losses associated with parental absence from work. "
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    ABSTRACT: Severe rotavirus gastroenteritis is common in children under 5 years of age. A literature review was performed to investigate the economic and psychosocial impact of rotavirus infection in children in this age group. We retrieved 56 articles on the economic burden of the disease in Europe, 18 of them reported data from Spain; 8 articles were retrieved analysing its psychosocial impact. In Spain, rotavirus is responsible for 14% to 30% of all cases of gastroenteritis, and a quarter of these require hospitalisation. It is also associated with high use of health care resources (emergency and primary care visits). Rotavirus gastroenteritis costs the Spanish national health system EUR 28 million a year and causes productivity loss in two-thirds of parents (mean of 4 days). Taking into account these costs, it was estimated that implementing universal vaccination could prevent 76% to 95% of hospital admissions due to rotavirus gastroenteritis, as well as reduce emergency and paediatric visits, nosocomial infections, and days missed from work (77% reduction). Rotavirus gastroenteritis also has a considerable psychosocial impact on the family, although it is difficult to compare results due to the diversity of study designs and the low specificity of the measurement tools used. It also causes high stress among parents, adding to their workload and adversely affecting their quality of life.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Vaccine
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