†Faculty of Nursing,University of Alberta,Edmonton,AB.
Objectives: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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.