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Preoperative Educational Intervention Decreases Unplanned Gastrostomy-Related Health Care Utilization

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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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