Influence of awareness and availability of medical alternatives on parents seeking paediatric emergency care

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Aims: Direct seeking of care at paediatric emergency departments may result from an inadequate awareness or a short supply of medical alternatives. We therefore evaluated the care-seeking patterns, availability of medical options and initial medical assessments – with overall reference to socioeconomic status – of parents at an urban paediatric emergency department in a Scandinavian country providing free paediatric healthcare. Methods: The parents of children assessed by paediatric emergency department physicians at a Swedish university hospital over a 25-day winter period completed a questionnaire on recent medical contacts and their reasons for attendance. Additional information was obtained from ledgers, patient records and population demographics. Results: In total, 657 of 713 eligible patients (92%) were included. Seventy-nine per cent of their parents either failed to or managed to establish medical contact before the emergency department visit, whereas 21% sought care with no attempt at recent medical contact. Visits with a failed telephone or primary care contact (18%) were more common outside office hours (p=0.014) and were scored as less urgent (p=0.014). A perceived emergency was the main reason for no attempt at medical contact before the visit. Direct emergency department care-seeking was more common from the city district with the lowest socioeconomic status (p=0.027). Conclusions: Although most parents in this Swedish study tried to seek medical advice before attending a paediatric emergency department, perceived emergency, a short supply of telephone health line or primary care facilities and lower socioeconomic status contributed to direct care-seeking by almost 40% of parents. Pre-hospital awareness and the availability of medical alternatives with an emphasis on major differences in socioeconomic status should therefore be considered to further optimize care-seeking in paediatric emergency departments.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi


Sidor (från-till)456-462
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Utgåva nummer4
Tidigt onlinedatum2017 okt
StatusPublished - 2018 jun
Peer review utfördJa

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Julia Ellbrant, 2018, Lund: Lund University: Faculty of Medicine. 72 s.

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (sammanläggning)

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