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The suboptimal provision of analgesia to children in the emergency department (ED) is well-described. A yet unexplored barrier is caregiver or child refusal of analgesia. We sought to evaluate the frequency of caregiver/child acceptance of analgesia offered in the ED.
We conducted a two-centre cross-sectional study of 743 caregivers of children 4–17 years presenting to the pediatric ED with an acutely painful condition using a survey and medical record review. The primary outcome was the proportion of children/caregiver pairs who accepted analgesia in the ED.
The median (IQR) age of children was 11 (7) years, and 339/743 (45.6%) were female. The overall survey response rate was 73% (743/1018). In the 24 hours preceding ED arrival, the median (IQR) maximal pain score rated by children and caregivers was 8/10 (4) and 5/10 (2), respectively, and 30.4% (226/743) of caregivers offered analgesia. In the ED, children reported a median (IQR) pain score of 8/10 (2) and 54.9% (408/743) were offered analgesia. When offered in the ED, analgesia was accepted by 91% (373/408). Overall, 55.7% (414/743) of children received some form of analgesia.
Most caregivers/children accept analgesia when offered by ED personnel, suggesting refusal is not a major barrier to optimal management of children’s pain and highlighting the importance of ED personnel in encouraging adequate analgesia. A large proportion of children in pain are not offered analgesia by caregivers or ED personnel. Educational strategies for recognizing and treating pain should be directed at children, caregivers, and ED personnel.
Over 80% of children experience compromise in functioning following a fracture. Digital media may improve caregiver knowledge of managing fracture pain at home.
To determine whether an educational video was superior to an interactive web-based module (WBM) and verbal instructions, the standard of care (SOC).
This randomized trial included caregivers of children 0-17 years presenting to the emergency department (ED) with non-operative fractures. Primary outcome was the gain score (pre-post intervention) on a 21-item questionnaire testing knowledge surrounding pain recognition and management for children with fractures. Secondary outcomes included survey of caregiver confidence in managing pain (five-item Likert scale), number of days with difficulty sleeping, before return to a normal diet, and work/school missed.
We analyzed 311 participants (WBM 99; video 108; SOC 104) with a mean (SD) child age of 9.6 (4.2) years, of which 125/311 (40.2%) were female. The video (delta=2.3, 95% CI: 1.3, 3.3; p<0.001) and WBM (delta=1.6; 95% CI: 0.5, 2.6; p=0.002) groups had significantly greater gain scores than the SOC group. The mean video gain score was not significantly greater than WBM (delta=0.7; 95% CI: -0.3, 1.8; p=0.25). There were no significant differences in caregiver confidence (p=0.4), number of absent school days (p=0.43), nights with difficulty sleeping (p=0.94), days before return to a normal diet (p=0.07), or workdays missed (p=0.95).
A web-based module and online video are superior to verbal instructions for improving caregiver knowledge on management of children’s fracture pain without improvement in functional outcomes
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