Aims: To examine characteristics of parents of children with acute, albeit mild, illnesses who used ambulance transport unnecessarily. Design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: From 2016 - 2017, we recruited parents who visited the emergency room of a Japanese paediatric hospital and whose children were discharged without hospitalization. Participants whose children arrived by ambulance were classified as using ambulance services unnecessarily. Participants answered a questionnaire consisting of parents’ characteristics, including health literacy scales and the Parents’ Uncertainty regarding their Children with Acute Illness Scale. We conducted a receiver operating characteristic analysis to convert the Parents’ Uncertainty regarding their Children with Acute Illness Scale results to binary scores. We analysed questionnaire responses using logistic regression analysis. Results: Analysed data were from 171 participants. The cut-off score was 59 for the Parents’ Uncertainty regarding their Children with Acute Illness Scale. Results of the logistic regression indicated that parents who did not use resources to obtain information regarding their child's illness, had low health literacy, were observing presenting symptoms for the first time in their child, or had high uncertainty, were significantly more likely to unnecessarily use ambulances. Conclusion: Publicizing available resources regarding child health information, social healthcare activities to raise parents’ health literacy and providing explanations in accordance with parents’ uncertainty, especially when confronting new symptoms in their child, might reduce unnecessary ambulance use. Impact: Of patients transported to hospitals by ambulance, the rate of paediatric parents with mild conditions has been found to be high. The study findings could contribute to the appropriateness of using ambulances and have implications for policymakers and healthcare providers, particularly in the Japanese paediatric emergency system. In particular, parental uncertainty, one of four significant characteristics, could be resolved in clinical settings. Generalization for global health services requires further research.
|Translated title of the contribution||Parental factors predicting unnecessary ambulance use for their child with acute illness: A cross-sectional study|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Advanced Nursing|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1 2019|
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