Most Pediatric Emergency Asthma Cases Not Followed Up

Education level of mother strongly associated with likelihood of follow-up
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In reference to children with asthma who are seen at a hospital emergency room, most cases are never followed up and the mother's education level is associated with odds of a child being taken for a check-up, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Lynn Carol Smith, Ph.D., of Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology in Timmins, Canada, conducted a study of 63 children who presented to a pediatric emergency department with asthma and looked at the subjects' demographic data in relation to whether or not they were taken for a follow-up check.

In all, 67 percent of the children did not complete the directed follow-up. Children whose asthma was more severe were more likely not to complete a follow-up (odds ratio, 12.44), as were those with older mothers (odds ratio, 2.14), the researcher found. She also discovered a that children with mothers who had lower education levels were significantly less likely to undergo follow-up than children who had more highly educated mothers.

"For children with asthma, lack of emergency department follow-up may reflect a combination of patient, provider, and system-related factors," the author writes. "Further research is needed to reveal additional determinants of follow-up and to develop interventions that improve the incidence, quality, and outcome of follow-up care."

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