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Educational video facilitates parental consent for paediatric lumbar puncture

10 Nov 2019

Common parent concerns associated with paediatric lumbar puncture procedures include pain, infection and neurological injury, a recent study has found. Showing them a short educational video helps allay such fears and may improve consent rates.

Seventy-two patient-parent dyads were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive an educational video (n=36; mean child age, 5.3 years) or not (n=36; mean child age, 6.3 years) as accompaniment to standard consent. Parents were also administered a separate survey to assess their self-rated understanding of the procedure and their perceptions of its safety and painfulness.

In the educational video arm, only 24 parents (67 percent) actually watched the materials. Reasons for skipping include being too tired, having no time and fears of worsening anxiety.

Self-rated understanding of the procedure was significantly higher in parents who viewed the video than in their control counterparts. The same was true for their perception of its safety. For each point increase in understanding, the perception of safety also increased by 0.88 percent.

In turn, every point increment in safety perception corresponded to a 1.2-point improvement in their comfort with their children undergoing the procedure, as well as a 1.1-point drop in their perception of the procedure’s pain.

“A short educational video on a handheld device helps to standardize parent perceptions and is an effective communication tool for physicians when obtaining consent from parents for paediatric lumbar puncture,” said researchers.

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