Pediatrics

Parental Perspectives on Continuous Pulse Oximetry Use in Bronchiolitis Hospitalizations



BACKGROUND:

Because of the impact of continuous pulse oximetry (CPOX) on the overdiagnosis of hypoxemia in bronchiolitis, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Choosing Wisely campaign have issued recommendations for intermittent monitoring. Parental preferences for monitoring may impact adoption of these recommendations, but these perspectives are poorly understood.

METHODS:

Using this cross-sectional survey, we explored parental perspectives on CPOX monitoring before discharge and 1 week after bronchiolitis hospitalizations. During the 1-week call, half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a verbal statement on the potential harms of CPOX to determine if conveying the concept of overdiagnosis can change parental preferences on monitoring frequency. An aggregate variable measuring favorable perceptions of CPOX was created to determine CPOX affinity predictors.

RESULTS:

In-hospital interviews were completed on 357 patients, of which 306 (86%) completed the 1-week follow-up. Although 25% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that hospital monitors made them feel anxious, 98% agreed that the monitors were helpful. Compared to other vital signs, respiratory rate (87%) and oxygen saturation (84%) were commonly rated as “extremely important.” Providing an educational statement on CPOX comparatively decreased parental desire for continuous monitoring (40% vs 20%; P < .001). Although there were no significant predictors of CPOX affinity, the effect size of the educational intervention was higher in college-educated parents.

CONCLUSIONS:

Parents find security in CPOX. A brief statement on the potential harms of CPOX use had an impact on stated monitoring preferences. Parental perspectives are important to consider because they may influence the adoption of intermittent monitoring.

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