Parental Preferences in the Management of Vesicoureteral Reflux

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Abstract

Purpose

Considering that there are few absolute indications for the timing and type of surgical correction of vesicoureteral reflux, we objectively measured parental choice in how the child's vesicoureteral reflux should be managed.

Materials and Methods

We prospectively identified patients 0 to 18 years old with any grade of newly diagnosed vesicoureteral reflux. All races and genders were included, and non-English speakers were excluded from analysis. Parents were shown a video presented by a professional actor that objectively described vesicoureteral reflux and the 3 treatment modalities of antibiotic prophylaxis, open ureteral reimplantation and endoscopic treatment. Then they completed a questionnaire regarding their preference for initial management, and at hypothetical followup points of 18, 36 and 54 months. Consultation followed with the pediatric urologist who was blinded to the questionnaire results.

Results

A total of 86 girls and 15 boys (150 refluxing units) were enrolled in the study. Mean patient age was 2.6 years old. Preferences for initial treatment were antibiotic prophylaxis in 36, endoscopic surgery in 26, open surgery in 11, unsure in 26 and no response in 2. Among those initially selecting antibiotic prophylaxis, after 18 months the preference was for endoscopic treatment, but after 36 and 54 months preferences trended toward open surgery. After consultation with the pediatric urologist 68 parents chose antibiotic prophylaxis.

Conclusions

Our data show that antibiotic prophylaxis is preferred as the initial therapy for vesicoureteral reflux by 35.6% of parents. However, given persistent vesicoureteral reflux, preferences shifted toward surgery. With time the preference for open surgery increased and the preference for endoscopic surgery decreased.

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