[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
Up to 30 % of children with acute asthma are refractory to initial therapy, and 84 % of this subpopulation needs hospitalization. Finding safe, noninvasive, and effective strategies to treat this high-risk group would substantially decrease hospitalizations, healthcare costs, and the psycho-social burden of the disease.
Whereas intravenous magnesium (Mg) is effective in severe refractory asthma, its use is sporadic due to safety concerns, with the main treatment goal being to prevent intensive care unit admission. In contrast, nebulized Mg is noninvasive, allows higher pulmonary drug concentrations, and has a much higher safety potential due to the lower rate of systemic delivery. Previous studies of inhaled Mg show disparate results due to the use of unknown/inefficient delivery methods and other methodological flaws.
The study is a randomized double-blind controlled trial in seven Canadian pediatric Emergency Departments (two-center pilot 2011 to 2014, Canada-wide November 2014 to December 2017). The trial will include 816 otherwise healthy children who are 2 to 17 years old, having had at least one previous wheezing episode, have received systemic corticosteroids, and have a Pediatric Respiratory Assessment Measure (PRAM) ≥ 5 points after three salbutamol and ipratropium treatments for a current acute asthma exacerbation. Eligible consenting children will receive three experimental treatments of nebulized salbutamol with either 600 mg of Mg sulfate or placebo 20 min apart, using an Aeroneb Go nebulizer, which has been shown to maximize pulmonary delivery while maintaining safety. The primary outcome is hospitalization within 24 h of the start of the experimental therapy for persistent respiratory distress or supplemental oxygen. Secondary outcomes include all-cause hospitalization within 24 h, PRAM, vital signs, number of bronchodilator treatments by 240 min, and the association between the difference in the primary outcome between the groups, age, gender, baseline PRAM, atopy, and “viral induced wheeze” phenotype (Fig. 1).
If effective, inhaled Mg may represent an effective strategy to minimize morbidity in pediatric refractory acute asthma. Unlike previous works, this trial targets nonresponders to optimized initial therapy who are the most likely to benefit from inhaled Mg. Future dissemination of results will include knowledge translation, incorporation into a Cochrane Review, presentation at scientific meetings, and a peer-reviewed publication.
NCTO1429415, registered 2 September 2011.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1151-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
Clustering of adolescent self-harming behaviours in the context of health care utilization has not been studied. We identified geographic areas with higher numbers of adolescents who (1) presented to an emergency department (ED) for self-harm, and (2) were without a physician follow-up visit for mental health within 14 days post-ED visit.
We extracted a population-based cohort of adolescents aged 15–17 years (n = 3,927) with ED visits during 2002–2011 in Alberta, Canada. We defined the case as an individual with one or more ED presentations for self-harm in the fiscal year of the analysis. Crude case rates were calculated and clusters were identified using a spatial scan.
The rates decreased over time for ED visits for self-harm (differences: girls −199.6/100,000; p < 0.01; boys −58.8/100,000; p < 0.01), and for adolescents without a follow-up visit within 14 days following an ED visit for self-harm (differences: girls −108.3/100,000; p < 0.01; boys −61.9/100,000; p < 0.01). Two space-time clusters were identified: (1) a North zone cluster during 2002–2006 (p < 0.01) and (2) a South zone cluster during 2003–2007 (p < 0.01). These clusters had higher numbers of adolescents who presented to the ED for self-harm (relative risks [RRs]: 1.58 for cluster 1, 3.54 for cluster 2) and were without a 14-day physician follow-up (RRs: 1.78 for cluster 1, 4.17 for cluster 2). In 2010/2011, clusters in the North, Edmonton, and Central zones were identified for adolescents with and without a follow-up visit within 14 days following an ED visit for self-harm (p < 0.01).
The rates for ED visits for adolescents who self-harm and rates of adolescents without a 14-day physician follow-up visit following emergency care for self-harm decreased during the study period. The space-time clusters identified the areas and years where visits to the ED by adolescents for self-harm were statistically higher than expected. These clusters can be used to identify locations where adolescents are potentially not receiving follow-up and the mental health support needed after emergency-based care. The 2010/2011 geographic cluster suggests that the northern part of the province still has elevated numbers of adolescents visiting the ED for self-harm. Prospective research is needed to determine outcomes associated with adolescents who receive physician follow-up following ED-based care for self-harm compared to those who do not.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background Compare the efficacy and safety of Plasma-Lyte A (PLA) versus 0.9 % sodium chloride (NaCl) intravenous (IV) fluid replacement in children with moderate to severe dehydration secondary to acute gastroenteritis (AGE). Methods Prospective, randomized, double-blind study conducted at eight pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in the US and Canada (NCT#01234883). The primary outcome measure was serum bicarbonate level at 4 h. Secondary outcomes included safety and tolerability. The hypothesis was that PLA would be superior to 0.9 % NaCl in improvement of 4-h bicarbonate. Patients (n = 100) aged ≥6 months to <11 years with AGE-induced moderate-to-severe dehydration were enrolled. Patients with a baseline bicarbonate level ≤22 mEq/L formed the modified intent to treat (mITT) group. Results At baseline, the treatment groups were comparable except that the PLA group was older. At hour 4, the PLA group had greater increases in serum bicarbonate from baseline than did the 0.9 % NaCl group (mean ± SD at 4 h: 18 ± 3.74 vs 18.0 ± 3.67; change from baseline of 1.6 and 0.0, respectively; P = .004). Both treatment groups received similar fluid volumes. The PLA group had less abdominal pain and better dehydration scores at hour 2 (both P = .03) but not at hour 4 (P = 0.15 and 0.08, respectively). No patient experienced clinically relevant worsening of laboratory findings or physical examination, and hospital admission rates were similar. One patient in each treatment group developed hyponatremia. Four patients developed hyperkalemia (PLA:1, 0.9 % NaCl:3). Conclusion In comparison with 0.9 % NaCl, PLA for rehydration in children with AGE was well tolerated and led to more rapid improvement in serum bicarbonate and dehydration score. Trial registration NCT#01234883 (Registration Date: November 3, 2010).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
The objective was to derive a simple clinical scoring instrument for assessing children with croup by telephone for use in clinical research studies.
We reviewed published literature on croup scores, surveyed experienced pediatric emergency nurses and physicians, and conducted a prospective cohort study. Score items were derived from published literature and surveys of experienced clinicians. We enrolled children with croup attending an urban pediatric emergency department. Families of children enrolled were contacted daily by telephone and asked standardized questions about their child's clinical symptoms and family functioning. Data from this survey were used to derive the clinical score.
We identified 11 unique croup scores from the literature and interviewed 6 experienced clinicians. We enrolled 330 children and achieved complete follow-up for 301. Of the various groupings of items and duration of assessment, the 2-item score (barky cough and stridor) was the simplest and most reliable. Three days of follow-up yielded optimal correlations.
We derived a 2-item Telephone Out Patient score assessed daily for 3 days after an emergency department visit. Validation of this score in a future, independent prospective cohort is needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children. For many, the disease is inadequately controlled, which can burden the lives of children and their families as well as the health care system. Improved use of the best available scientific evidence by primary care practitioners could reduce the need for hospital care and improve quality of life and asthma control, thereby reducing overall costs to society and families.
The Primary Care Pathway for Childhood Asthma aims to improve the management of children with asthma by (1) providing primary care practitioners with an electronic guide (a clinical pathway) incorporated into the patient's electronic medical record, and (2) providing train-the-trainer education to chronic disease management health professionals to promote the provision of asthma education in primary care.
The research will utilize a pragmatic cluster-controlled design, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and economic evaluation to assess the implementation of a pathway and education intervention in primary care. The intervention will be analyzed for effectiveness, and if the results are positive, a strategy will be developed to implement delivery to all primary care practices in Alberta.
The research has been successfully funded and ethics approvals have been obtained. Practice recruitment began fall 2015, and we expect all study-related activities to be concluded by March 2018.
The proposed pathway and education intervention has the potential to improve pediatric asthma management in Alberta. The intervention is anticipated to result in better quality of care for equal or lesser cost.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02481037; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02481037 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6fPIQ02Ma).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives
Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospital admission for infants, but few studies have examined management of this condition in community hospital settings. We reviewed the management of children with bronchiolitis presenting to community hospitals in Ontario.
We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive cohort of infants less than 12 months old with bronchiolitis who presented to 28 Ontario community hospitals over a two-year period. Bronchiolitis was defined as first episode of wheezing associated with signs of an upper respiratory tract infection during respiratory syncytial virus season.
Of 543 eligible children, 161 (29.7%, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 22.3 to 37.0%) were admitted to hospital. Hospital admission rates varied widely (Interquartile Range 0%-40.3%). Bronchodilator use was widespread in the emergency department (ED) (79.7% of patients, 95% CI 75.0 to 84.5%) and on the inpatient wards (94.4% of patients, 95% CI 90.2 to 98.6%). Salbutamol was the most commonly used bronchodilator. At ED discharge 44.7% (95% CI 37.5 to 51.9%) of patients were prescribed a bronchodilator medication. Approximately one-third of ED patients (30.8%, 95% CI 22.7 to 38.8%), 50.3% (95% CI 37.7 to 63.0%) of inpatients, and 23.5% (95% CI 14.4 to 32.7) of patients discharged from the ED were treated with corticosteroids. The most common investigation obtained was a chest x-ray (60.2% of all children; 95% CI 51.9 to 68.5%).
Infants with bronchiolitis receive medications and investigations for which there is little evidence of benefit. This suggests a need for knowledge translation strategies directed to community hospitals.
Article · Feb 2016 · Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
The minimum recommended treatment duration for i.v. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) after an acute, single acetaminophen (APAP) overdose is 21 h. Some have questioned whether shorter courses may be sufficient in carefully selected cases.
We sought to describe the incidence of hepatotoxicity in a cohort of acute APAP overdose patients who received <21 h of i.v. NAC for any reason.
We performed a secondary analysis of a large multicenter retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized for APAP poisoning. We selected patients with a potentially toxic serum APAP concentration measured between 4 and 24 h post ingestion, in whom i.v. NAC was initiated but discontinued before completing the full 21-h course. We further characterized outcomes in these patients as a function of two novel risk-prediction tools, the psi (ψ) parameter and APAP × aminotransferase (AT) product. The ψ parameter is an estimate of the cellular burden of injury based on the area under the concentration-time curve before treatment, and calculated with respect to the APAP concentration and time to initiation of NAC.
Fifty-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Intravenous NAC was initiated a median of 11.3 h post ingestion and administered for a median of 11.0 h. Hepatotoxicity (aspartate aminotransferase [AST] or alanine aminotransferase [ALT] > 1,000 IU/L) occurred in one patient (1.7%; 95% confidence interval 0.04-9.1), and eight additional patients developed hepatic injury (AST or ALT > 100 IU/L). No fatalities occurred. A multiplication product of APAP and AT (APAP × AT) that falls below 10,000 μmol/L/IU-L, or pretreatment ψ < 5 mmol/L-h suggested a low risk of hepatic injury.
In this retrospective analysis of patients treated with < 21 h of i.v. NAC for acute APAP overdose, the incidence of hepatotoxicity and coagulopathy was low, despite delays to NAC treatment.
Full-text Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
Each year in Canada there are 5 million episodes of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) with up to 70 % attributed to an unidentified pathogen. Moreover, 90 % of individuals with AGE do not seek care when ill, thus, burden of disease estimates are limited by under-diagnosing and under-reporting. Further, little is known about the pathogens causing AGE as the majority of episodes are attributed to an "unidentified" etiology. Our team has two main objectives: 1) to improve health through enhanced enteric pathogen identification; 2) to develop economic models incorporating pathogen burden and societal preferences to inform enteric vaccine decision making.
This project involves multiple stages: 1) Molecular microbiology experts will participate in a modified Delphi process designed to define criteria to aid in interpreting positive molecular enteric pathogen test results. 2) Clinical data and specimens will be collected from children aged 0-18 years, with vomiting and/or diarrhea who seek medical care in emergency departments, primary care clinics and from those who contact a provincial medical advice line but who do not seek care. Samples to be collected will include stool, rectal swabs (N = 2), and an oral swab. Specimens will be tested employing 1) stool culture; 2) in-house multiplex (N = 5) viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel; and 3) multi-target (N = 15) PCR commercially available array. All participants will have follow-up data collected 14 days later to enable calculation of a Modified Vesikari Scale score and a Burden of Disease Index. Specimens will also be collected from asymptomatic children during their well child vaccination visits to a provincial public health clinic. Following the completion of the initial phases, discrete choice experiments will be conducted to enable a better understanding of societal preferences for diagnostic testing and vaccine policy. All of the results obtained will be integrated into economic models.
This study is collecting novel samples (e.g., oral swabs) from previously untested groups of children (e.g., those not seeking medical care) which are then undergoing extensive molecular testing to shed a new perspective on the epidemiology of AGE. The knowledge gained will provide the broadest understanding of the epidemiology of vomiting and diarrhea of children to date.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Introduction: Procedural sedation and analgesia have become standard practice in paediatric emergency departments worldwide. Although generally regarded as safe, serious adverse events such as bradycardia, asystole, pulmonary aspiration, permanent neurological injury and death have been reported, but their incidence is unknown due to the infrequency of their occurrence and lack of surveillance of sedation safety. To improve our understanding of the safety, comparative effectiveness and variation in care in paediatric procedural sedation, we are establishing a multicentre patient registry with the goal of conducting regular and ongoing surveillance for adverse events in procedural sedation.
Methods: This multicentre, prospective cohort study is enrolling patients under 18 years of age from six paediatric emergency departments across Canada. Data collection is fully integrated into clinical care and is performed electronically in real time by the healthcare professionals caring for the patient. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients who experience a serious adverse event as a result of their sedation. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients who experience an adverse event that could lead to a serious adverse event, proportion of patients who receive a significant intervention in response to an adverse event, proportion of patients who experience a successful sedation, and proportion of patients who experience a paradoxical reaction to sedation. There is no predetermined end date for data collection.
Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval has been obtained from participating sites. Results will be disseminated using a multifaceted knowledge translation strategy by presenting at international conferences, publication in peer-reviewed journals, and through established networks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives
Despite the substantial body of literature on emergency department (ED) crowding, to the best of our knowledge, there is no agreement on the measure or measures that should be used to quantify crowding. The objective of this systematic review was to identify existing measures of ED crowding that have been linked to quality of care as defined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) quality domains (safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, timely, and equitable).Methods
Six major bibliographic databases were searched from January 1980 to January 2012, and hand searches were conducted of relevant journals and conference proceedings. Observational studies (cross-sectional, cohort, and case-control), quality improvement studies, quasi-experimental (e.g., before/after) studies, and randomized controlled trials were considered for inclusion. Studies that did not provide measures of ED crowding were excluded. Studies that did not provide quantitative data on the link between crowding measures and quality of care were also excluded. Two independent reviewers assessed study eligibility, completed data extraction, and assessed study quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS) for observational studies and a modified version of the NOS for cross-sectional studies.ResultsThe search identified 7,413 articles. Thirty-two articles were included in the review: six cross-sectional, one case-control, 23 cohort, and two retrospective reviews of performance improvement data. Methodologic quality was moderate, with weaknesses in the reporting of study design and methodology. Overall, 15 of the crowding measures studied had quantifiable links to quality of care. The three measures most frequently linked to quality of care were the number of patients in the waiting room, ED occupancy (percentage of overall ED beds filled), and the number of admitted patients in the ED awaiting inpatient beds. None of the articles provided data on the link between crowding measures and the IOM domains reflecting equitable and efficient care.Conclusions
The results of this review provide data on the association between ED crowding measures and quality of care. Three simple crowding measures have been linked to quality of care in multiple publications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]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.
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.
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.
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01853124; first registered 9 May 2013.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Benzodiazepines are considered first-line therapy for pediatric status epilepticus. Some studies suggest that lorazepam may be more effective or safer than diazepam, but lorazepam is not Food and Drug Administration approved for this indication.
To test the hypothesis that lorazepam has better efficacy and safety than diazepam for treating pediatric status epilepticus.
This double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted from March 1, 2008, to March 14, 2012. Patients aged 3 months to younger than 18 years with convulsive status epilepticus presenting to 1 of 11 US academic pediatric emergency departments were eligible. There were 273 patients; 140 randomized to diazepam and 133 to lorazepam.
Patients received either 0.2 mg/kg of diazepam or 0.1 mg/kg of lorazepam intravenously, with half this dose repeated at 5 minutes if necessary. If status epilepticus continued at 12 minutes, fosphenytoin was administered.
The primary efficacy outcome was cessation of status epilepticus by 10 minutes without recurrence within 30 minutes. The primary safety outcome was the performance of assisted ventilation. Secondary outcomes included rates of seizure recurrence and sedation and times to cessation of status epilepticus and return to baseline mental status. Outcomes were measured 4 hours after study medication administration.
Cessation of status epilepticus for 10 minutes without recurrence within 30 minutes occurred in 101 of 140 (72.1%) in the diazepam group and 97 of 133 (72.9%) in the lorazepam group, with an absolute efficacy difference of 0.8% (95% CI, -11.4% to 9.8%). Twenty-six patients in each group required assisted ventilation (16.0% given diazepam and 17.6% given lorazepam; absolute risk difference, 1.6%; 95% CI, -9.9% to 6.8%). There were no statistically significant differences in secondary outcomes except that lorazepam patients were more likely to be sedated (66.9% vs 50%, respectively; absolute risk difference, 16.9%; 95% CI, 6.1% to 27.7%).
Among pediatric patients with convulsive status epilepticus, treatment with lorazepam did not result in improved efficacy or safety compared with diazepam. These findings do not support the preferential use of lorazepam for this condition.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00621478.
Article · Apr 2014 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many children requiring acute care receive suboptimal analgesia. OBJECTIVES: To describe paediatric pain management practices and policies in emergency departments (EDs) in Alberta. Methods: A descriptive survey was distributed to each of the EDs in Alberta. RESULTS: A response rate of 67% (72 of 108) was obtained. Seventy-one percent (42 of 59) of EDs reported the use of a pain tool, 29.3% (17 of 58) reported mandatory pain documentation and 16.7% (10 of 60) had nurse-initiated pain protocols. Topical anesthetics were reported to be used for intravenous line insertion by 70.4% of respondents (38 of 54) and for lumbar puncture (LP) by 30.8% (12 of 39). According to respondents, infiltrated anesthetic was used for LP by 69.2% (27 of 39) of respondents, and oral sucrose was used infrequently for urinary catheterization (one of 46 [2.2%]), intravenous line insertion (zero of 54 [0%]) and LP (one of 39 [2.6%]). CONCLUSIONS: Few Alberta EDs use policies and protocols to manage paediatric pain. Noninvasive methods to limit procedural pain are underutilized. Canadian paediatricians must advocate for improved analgesia to narrow this knowledge-to-practice gap.
Full-text Article · Apr 2014 · Paediatrics & Child Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Given the recent publication of several large trials and systematic reviews, we undertook a study of the current management of bronchiolitis in Canadian pediatric emergency departments (EDs) and explored physicians' rationale for their treatment decisions. The overarching purpose of this study was to assist in planning a future trial of combined epinephrine and dexamethasone for bronchiolitis.
Physicians in the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) database received an 18-item electronic survey. A modified Dillman method was used.
Of the 271 physicians surveyed, 191 (70.1%) responded. The majority (120 of 271; 66.5%) reported ''typically'' giving a bronchodilator trial in the ED, with respondents almost evenly divided between treatment with salbutamol (n=62) and treatment with epinephrine (n=61). Of those who use salbutamol, 77.4% indicated that they prefer it because it can be prescribed for home use. Of those who use epinephrine, 80.3% indicated that they believe the medical literature supports its benefit over salbutamol. Few participants (2.6%) reported ''always'' using steroids, whereas the majority (62.8%) reported ''sometimes'' using them. The most common factor reported to influence steroid use was illness severity (73.3%). The majority (60.5%) reported that if corticosteroids were beneficial in bronchiolitis, they prefered treatment with a single dose in the ED as opposed to a multiday course.
Our results indicate that physicians practicing in Canadian pediatric EDs commonly use bronchodilators to manage bronchiolitis but use corticosteroids less commonly. They appear to be uncomfortable using corticosteroids, particularly longer courses, and have a stated preference for a single dose. Any future trial examining the role of corticosteroids in bronchiolitis should carefully consider the issue of steroid dosage.
Article · Feb 2014 · Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Cochrane Review: Combined and alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen therapy for febrile children Wong T, Stang AS, Ganshorn H, Hartling L, Maconochie IK, Thomsen AM, Johnson DW. Combined and alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen therapy for febrile children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD009572. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009572.pub2 This companion piece to the review, “Combined and alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen therapy for febrile children,” contains the following pieces: The abstract of the review A commentary from one or more of the review authors, explaining why the review team felt the review was an important one to produce A review of clinical practice guidelines Some other recently published references on this topic
Full-text Article · Oct 2013 · Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Introduction: Stories may be an effective tool to communicate with patients because of their ability to engage the reader. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of story booklets compared to standard information sheets for parents of children attending the emergency department (ED) with a child with croup. Methods: Parents were randomized to receive story booklets (n=208) or standard information sheets (n=205) during their ED visit. The primary outcome was change in anxiety between triage to ED discharge as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted at 1 and 3 days after discharge, then every other day until 9 days (or until resolution of symptoms), and at 1 year. Secondary outcomes included: expected future anxiety, event impact, parental knowledge, satisfaction, decision regret, healthcare utilization, time to symptom resolution. Results: There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of change in parental anxiety between recruitment and ED discharge (change of 5 points for the story group vs. 6 points for the comparison group, p=0.78). The story group showed significantly greater decision regret regarding their decision to go to the ED (p<0.001): 6.7% of the story group vs. 1.5% of the comparison group strongly disagreed with the statement "I would go for the same choice if I had to do it over again". The story group reported shorter time to resolution of symptoms (mean 3.7 days story group vs. 4.0 days comparison group, median 3 days both groups; log rank test, p=0.04). No other outcomes were different between study groups. Conclusions: Stories about parent experiences managing a child with croup did not reduce parental anxiety. The story group showed significantly greater decision regret and quicker time to resolution of symptoms. Further research is needed to better understand whether stories can be effective in improving patient-important outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
Identifying gaps in care and improving outcomes for severely ill children requires the development of evidence-based performance measures. We used a systematic process involving multiple stakeholders to identify and develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions relevant to any emergency department (ED) setting where children are seen.
A prioritized list of clinical conditions was selected by an advisory panel. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify existing indicators, as well as guidelines and evidence that could be used to inform the creation of new indicators. A multiphase, Rand-modified Delphi method consisting of anonymous questionnaires and a face-to-face meeting of an expert panel was used for indicator selection. Measure specifications and evidence grading were created for each indicator, and the feasibility and reliability of measurement was assessed in a tertiary care pediatric ED.
The conditions selected for indicator development were diabetic ketoacidosis, status asthmaticus, anaphylaxis, status epilepticus, severe head injury, and sepsis. The majority of the 62 selected indicators reflect ED processes (84%) with few indicators reflecting structures (11%) or outcomes (5%). Thirty-seven percent (n = 23) of the selected indicators are based on moderate or high quality evidence. Data were available and interrater reliability acceptable for the majority of indicators.
A systematic process involving multiple stakeholders was used to develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions. Future work will test the reliability and feasibility of data collection on these indicators across the spectrum of ED settings that provide care for children.