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Does Parental Satisfaction Equal Parental Understanding?
Christy Turner Hughes, RN, Tara Rhine, MD, MS. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Background: Identify young children who had a period of observation in the emergency department (ED) acutely following head injury and contrast parental satisfaction with understanding of ED care.

Methods: This was a sub-analysis of a prospective study evaluating care for children 0-4 years of age presenting for acute head injury. Children were included if, per the ED clinician, they were placed into an observation period instead of undergoing emergent neuroimaging or immediate ED discharge. Parents were contacted within 96 hours after the visit to complete a survey about perceptions of care.

Results: Fifty-nine children enrolled into the study had a period of observation. Half were male and the average age was 21.2 15.4 months. The average ED length of stay was 3 2 hours, and seven children had a head CT performed, of which four were abnormal. The majority (84.7%) of parents completed the follow-up survey and these results are summarized in Table 1. There was no subsequent return ED visits related to the head injury.

Conclusions: This survey showed evidence of a gap in staff-parent communication with parents reporting high satisfaction yet mediocre understanding of the care their child received in the ED. Excellent communication is imperative for safe and wide-spread implementation of an observation period following head injury when appropriate. The lack of return visits further corroborates the safety of the observation period.


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