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Am Surg. 2018 Oct 1;84(10):1555-1559.

Preoperative Educational Intervention Decreases Unplanned Gastrostomy-Related Health Care Utilization.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Apprehension in taking independent care of children with medical devices may lead to unnecessary visits to the ED and/or acute clinic (AC). To address these concerns, our institution implemented a gastrostomy tube (GT) class in 2011 for caretakers. We hypothesized that inappropriate GT-related ED/AC visits would be lower in preoperatively educated caregivers. We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients aged 0 to 18 who received GT (surgical or percutaneous) at our institution between 2006 and 2015 (n = 1340). Class attendance (trained vs untrained) and unscheduled GT-related ED/AC visits one year after GT placement were reviewed. Gastrostomy-related ED/AC visits were classified as appropriate (hospital-based intervention) or inappropriate (site care and education/reassurance). Occurrence of ED/AC visits was compared between trained and untrained cohorts. We found that 59 per cent of patients had an unscheduled GT-related ED/AC visit within one year of placement. The trained cohort had 27 per cent less unplanned ED/AC visits within one year (mean 1.21 (SD 1.82) vs untrained 1.65 (2.24), P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, GT education independently decreased one-year GT-related health care utilization (Odds Ratio 0.75, 95% Confidence Interval 0.59-0.95). Formal education seems to decrease GT-related health care utilization within one year of placement and should be integrated into a comprehensive care plan to improve caregiver self-efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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