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The majority of children requiring emergency care are treated in general emergency departments (EDs) with variable levels of pediatric care expertise. The goal of the Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) initiative is to implement the latest research in pediatric emergency medicine in general EDs to reduce clinical variation.
To determine national pediatric information needs, seeking behaviours, and preferences of health care professionals working in general EDs.
An electronic cross-sectional survey was conducted with health care professionals in 32 Canadian general EDs. Data were collected in the EDs using the iPad and in-person data collectors.
Total of 1,471 surveys were completed (57.1% response rate). Health care professionals sought information on children’s health care by talking to colleagues (n=1,208, 82.1%), visiting specific medical/health websites (n=994, 67.7%), and professional development opportunities (n=941, 64.4%). Preferred child health resources included protocols and accepted treatments for common conditions (n=969, 68%), clinical pathways and practice guidelines (n=951, 66%), and evidence-based information on new diagnoses and treatments (n=866, 61%). Additional pediatric clinical information is needed about multisystem trauma (n=693, 49%), severe head injury (n=615, 43%), and meningitis (n=559, 39%). Health care professionals preferred to receive child health information through professional development opportunities (n=1,131, 80%) and printed summaries (n=885, 63%).
By understanding health care professionals’ information seeking behaviour, information needs, and information preferences, knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation initiatives can be targeted to improve pediatric emergency care. The findings from this study will inform the following two phases of the TREKK initiative to bridge the research-practice gap in Canadian general EDs.
Pediatric acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common condition with high health care utilization, persistent practice variation, and substantial family burden. An initial approach to resolve these issues is to understand the patient/caregiver experience of this illness. The objective of this study was to describe caregivers’ experiences of pediatric AGE and identify their information needs, preferences, and priorities.
A qualitative, descriptive study was conducted. Caregivers of a child with AGE were recruited for this study in the pediatric emergency department (ED) at a tertiary hospital in a major urban centre. Individual interviews were conducted (n=15), and a thematic analysis of interview transcripts was completed using a hybrid inductive/deductive approach.
Five major themes were identified and described: 1) caregiver management strategies; 2) reasons for going to the ED; 3) treatment and management of AGE in the ED; 4) caregivers’ information needs; and 5) additional factors influencing caregivers’ experiences and decision-making. A number of subthemes within each major theme were identified and described.
This qualitative descriptive study has identified caregiver information needs, preferences, and priorities regarding pediatric AGE. This study also identified inconsistencies in the treatment and management of pediatric AGE at home and in the ED that influence health care utilization and patient outcomes related to pediatric AGE.
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