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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Why are you here? Exploring the logic behind nonurgent use of a pediatric emergency department
by Watt, Ian, M.S., University of North Texas, 2015, 103; 10034764
Abstract (Summary)

Caregivers often associate fevers with permanent harm and bring children to emergency departments (EDs) unnecessarily. However, families using EDs for nonurgent complaints often have difficulty accessing quality primary care. Mutual misconceptions among caregivers and healthcare providers regarding nonurgent ED use are a barrier to implementing meaningful interventions. The purpose of this project was to identify dominant themes in caregivers’ narratives about bringing children to the ED for nonurgent fevers. Thirty caregivers were recruited in a pediatric ED for participation in qualitative semi-structured interview from August to November 2014. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed for themes.

Caregivers’ decisions to come to the ED revolved around their need for reassurance that children were not in danger. Several major themes emerged: caregivers came to the ED when they felt they had no other options; parents feared that fevers would result in seizures; caregivers frequently drew on family members and the internet for health information; and many families struggled to access their PCPs for sick care due to challenging family logistics. Reducing nonurgent ED utilization requires interventions at the individual and structural level. Individual-level interventions should empower caregivers to manage fevers and other common illnesses at home. However, such interventions may have limited impact on utilization outcomes among families with poor access to primary care. Afterhours primary care should be expanded to accommodate families with rigid work schedules and limited transportation resources.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Henry, Lisa
School: University of North Texas
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Texas
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Public health
Keywords: Bourdieu, Emergency departments, Healthcare
Publication Number: 10034764
ISBN: 978-1-339-53859-4
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