Impact of day-case gastroscopy on children and their families

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Abstract

Background and Aim

Increasing numbers of endoscopies are being carried out in children. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the provision of information about the admission and procedure and the functional and economic impact of day-case gastroscopy on children and their families.

Methods

We administered a structured questionnaire to families of children undergoing elective gastroscopy, with daily follow up by telephone over the next 3 days.

Results

One-hundred-and-three children were recruited. All had seen a consultant gastroenterologist (usually the proceduralist) prior to the endoscopy, who had obtained signed consent; 89% of families remembered receiving an explanation from the doctor carrying out the procedure. Nearly all (94%) described the information they received as adequate. However, only one-third of families recalled receiving an explanatory brochure and very few had toured the Day Surgical Unit or seen the complimentary video. Thirty percent were unhappy with the time spent at the Day Surgical Unit and an apparent failure to warn of possible delays, 8% felt that they were not given adequate information prior to discharge, and 39% of children failed to attend school the day after the procedure. Although tiredness or sleepiness was common, no correlation was found between the presence of symptoms and school absence. Complaints about the admission included overcrowding, lack of privacy, excessive noise, and failure to cater for adolescents. Fifty percent of parents took leave from work, but most manipulated work rosters and holidays so that costs to them and to the workplace were minimal.

Conclusion

Information provision about the procedure and admission appears to be adequate in most families of children undergoing day-case gastroscopy, but may be improved in some areas. Failure to remember elements of the consent and explanatory process is common. Minor morbidity is also common after the procedure.

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