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Childhood fever: a qualitative study on parents' expectations and experiences during general practice out-of-hours care consultations.

de Bont EG, Loonen N, Hendrix DA, Lepot JM, Dinant GJ, Cals JW - BMC Fam Pract (2015)

Bottom Line: When parents consulted a GP they did not have any set expectations other than seeking reassurance, however a proper physical examination diminished their anxiety.Parents did not demand antibiotics, but trusted on the expertise of the GP to assess necessity.GPs' had incorrect assumptions that parents expected antibiotic treatment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Family Medicine, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands. eefje.debont@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Fever in children is common and mostly caused by benign self-limiting infections. Yet consultation rates in primary care are high, especially during GP out-of-hours care. Therefore, we aimed to explore experiences of parents when having visited GP out-of-hours services with their febrile child.

Methods: We performed a qualitative study using 20 semi-structured interviews among parents from different backgrounds presenting to GP out-of-hours care with a febrile child <12 years. Questions were directed at parental motivations, expectations and experiences when visiting the GP out-of-hours centre with a febrile child. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using constant comparison technique.

Results: We identified four main categories emerging from the data; (1) cautiously seeking care, (2) discrepancy between rationality and emotion, (3) expecting reassurance from a professional and (4) a need for consistent, reliable information. Not one symptom, but a combination of fever with other symptoms, made parents anxious and drove care seeking. Although parents carefully considered when to seek care, they experienced increased anxiety with increases in their child's temperature. Because parents work during the day and fever typically rises during the early evening, the decision to seek care was often made during out-of-hours care. When parents consulted a GP they did not have any set expectations other than seeking reassurance, however a proper physical examination diminished their anxiety. Parents did not demand antibiotics, but trusted on the expertise of the GP to assess necessity. Parents requested consistent, reliable information on fever and self-management strategies.

Conclusions: Parents were inexperienced in self-management strategies and had a subsequent desire for reassurance; this played a pivotal role in out-of-hours help seeking for childhood fever. These factors provide clues to optimise information exchange between GPs and parents, by providing written, tailored, consistent information on self-management strategies for current and future fever episodes. GPs' had incorrect assumptions that parents expected antibiotic treatment.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Categories and their relationship. Main categories are put in Bold
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Fig1: Categories and their relationship. Main categories are put in Bold

Mentions: We identified four main categories emerging from the data; (1) cautiously seeking care, (2) discrepancy between rationality and emotion, (3) expecting reassurance from a professional and (4) a need for consistent, reliable information. These main categories will be discussed in further detail. We did not observe any distinct differences between parents of different gender, age or education level. Figure 1 shows a graphical overview of the categories that were found.Fig. 1


Childhood fever: a qualitative study on parents' expectations and experiences during general practice out-of-hours care consultations.

de Bont EG, Loonen N, Hendrix DA, Lepot JM, Dinant GJ, Cals JW - BMC Fam Pract (2015)

Categories and their relationship. Main categories are put in Bold
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4597376&req=5

Fig1: Categories and their relationship. Main categories are put in Bold
Mentions: We identified four main categories emerging from the data; (1) cautiously seeking care, (2) discrepancy between rationality and emotion, (3) expecting reassurance from a professional and (4) a need for consistent, reliable information. These main categories will be discussed in further detail. We did not observe any distinct differences between parents of different gender, age or education level. Figure 1 shows a graphical overview of the categories that were found.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: When parents consulted a GP they did not have any set expectations other than seeking reassurance, however a proper physical examination diminished their anxiety.Parents did not demand antibiotics, but trusted on the expertise of the GP to assess necessity.GPs' had incorrect assumptions that parents expected antibiotic treatment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Family Medicine, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands. eefje.debont@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Fever in children is common and mostly caused by benign self-limiting infections. Yet consultation rates in primary care are high, especially during GP out-of-hours care. Therefore, we aimed to explore experiences of parents when having visited GP out-of-hours services with their febrile child.

Methods: We performed a qualitative study using 20 semi-structured interviews among parents from different backgrounds presenting to GP out-of-hours care with a febrile child <12 years. Questions were directed at parental motivations, expectations and experiences when visiting the GP out-of-hours centre with a febrile child. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using constant comparison technique.

Results: We identified four main categories emerging from the data; (1) cautiously seeking care, (2) discrepancy between rationality and emotion, (3) expecting reassurance from a professional and (4) a need for consistent, reliable information. Not one symptom, but a combination of fever with other symptoms, made parents anxious and drove care seeking. Although parents carefully considered when to seek care, they experienced increased anxiety with increases in their child's temperature. Because parents work during the day and fever typically rises during the early evening, the decision to seek care was often made during out-of-hours care. When parents consulted a GP they did not have any set expectations other than seeking reassurance, however a proper physical examination diminished their anxiety. Parents did not demand antibiotics, but trusted on the expertise of the GP to assess necessity. Parents requested consistent, reliable information on fever and self-management strategies.

Conclusions: Parents were inexperienced in self-management strategies and had a subsequent desire for reassurance; this played a pivotal role in out-of-hours help seeking for childhood fever. These factors provide clues to optimise information exchange between GPs and parents, by providing written, tailored, consistent information on self-management strategies for current and future fever episodes. GPs' had incorrect assumptions that parents expected antibiotic treatment.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus