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Parental Hesitancy and Concerns around Accessing Paediatric Unscheduled Healthcare during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey

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UCD Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Education and Innovation in Health Systems, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin, D04 V1W8 Dublin, Ireland
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Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, D12 N512 Dublin, Ireland
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Women’s and Children’s Health, School of Medicine, University College Dublin, D04 V1W8 Dublin, Ireland
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National Children’s Research Centre, D12 N512 Dublin, Ireland
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REDSPOT, Emergency Department, Limerick University Hospital, V94 F858 Limerick, Ireland
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Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, D01 XD99 Dublin, Ireland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249264
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 8 December 2020 / Accepted: 9 December 2020 / Published: 11 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
A decrease in attendance at emergency departments among paediatric populations has been reported during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The present study sought to understand parents’ hesitancy and concerns around accessing healthcare during the pandemic using a cross-sectional survey of parents of children under the age of 16 (N = 1044) in Ireland. Multinomial and logistic regression analyses were used to determine the factors that influenced avoidance and hesitancy. In total, 34% of participants stated that their child required healthcare during the pandemic, of whom 22% decided against seeking healthcare. Parents who reported being much more hesitant about accessing healthcare were more likely to report mild–moderate (Relative Risk Ratio (RRR) = 2.31, CI: 1.54–3.47) and severe–extremely severe stress (RRR: 3.37, CI: 1.81–6.27). Parents who understood government advice to mean avoiding health services were more likely to be hesitant to attend (RRR: 1.71, CI; 1.10–2.67). These effects held when restrictions were beginning to be lifted. Higher levels of stress were associated with a parent believing that the government advice meant that they should not attend health services (OR: 1.66, CI: 1.14–2.41). Public health messaging must ensure parents are reassured on the accessibility and safety of paediatric healthcare services as this public health emergency continues. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; cross-sectional survey; parents; paediatric healthcare; hesitancy; avoidance COVID-19; cross-sectional survey; parents; paediatric healthcare; hesitancy; avoidance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nicholson, E.; McDonnell, T.; Conlon, C.; Barrett, M.; Cummins, F.; Hensey, C.; McAuliffe, E. Parental Hesitancy and Concerns around Accessing Paediatric Unscheduled Healthcare during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9264. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249264

AMA Style

Nicholson E, McDonnell T, Conlon C, Barrett M, Cummins F, Hensey C, McAuliffe E. Parental Hesitancy and Concerns around Accessing Paediatric Unscheduled Healthcare during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9264. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249264

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nicholson, Emma, Thérèse McDonnell, Ciara Conlon, Michael Barrett, Fergal Cummins, Conor Hensey, and Eilish McAuliffe. 2020. "Parental Hesitancy and Concerns around Accessing Paediatric Unscheduled Healthcare during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9264. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249264

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