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J Clin Nurs. 2007 Dec;16(12):2308-22.

The quality of written information for parents regarding the management of a febrile convulsion: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland. f.paul@dundee.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To identify whether providing a new information leaflet for parents regarding the management of a febrile convulsion was more effective in comparison with standard leaflets.

BACKGROUND:

Although information leaflets are frequently recommended within healthcare, their quality is often poor. Furthermore, the evidence regarding the effectiveness of leaflets is inconsistent. Few studies have evaluated the effects of providing leaflets that have been developed to improve their quality. Within the specialty of paediatrics, parents are often unprepared regarding the management of febrile convulsion at home and the provision of supplementary leaflets is recommended, despite limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of this approach. There is also limited evidence regarding whether improving the quality of these leaflets leads to better outcomes, e.g. increasing parents' behavioural knowledge.

DESIGN:

Double-blind randomized controlled trial.

METHOD:

One hundred and twenty-six parents of children hospitalized due to benign febrile convulsion were recruited (May 2000-February 2002). Seventy-one parents were randomized to receive the standard care (control leaflet) and 55 parents received the intervention (new leaflet). Data were collected from parents on discharge immediately prior to receiving the intervention and 7-14 days following the intervention via telephone interview.

RESULTS:

Parents who received the new leaflet found this to be more reassuring and easier to understand than parents who received the control leaflet. No differences between groups were identified regarding the primary outcome, i.e. behavioural knowledge and most of the secondary outcomes, e.g. perceived confidence, state anxiety and satisfaction with the leaflet.

CONCLUSION:

Although this study provides modest support for the effectiveness of providing high-quality leaflets, further research is required to determine the best methods for optimizing the effectiveness of leaflets provided at hospital discharge.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

The quality of leaflets may influence some outcomes, e.g. understanding and reassurance with the written information provided; however, additional strategies to inform parents may be necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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