Objectives.- To characterize the at-home recovery of infants after hospitalization for bronchiolitis, the impact of recovery from this illness on the family, and the association between delayed infant recovery and parental satisfaction with hospital care. Methods.- Otherwi se healthy infants less than 1 year of age admitted to 6 children's hospitals were eligible. Telephone interviews with 486 parents (85% of sampled), 1-2 weeks following discharge, addressed functional recovery, lingering symptoms, family disruption, returns to the emergency department, and parental recall of satisfaction with care. Results.- Two thirds of infants experienced difficulties with normal routines (feeding, sleeping, contentedness, liveliness) on the day of discharge. By 5 days at home, 22% continued to experience disruption in sleeping, and 16% in feeding routines. Coughing (56%) and wheezing (27%) were common 4 to 6 days after discharge. Parents who reported longer delays in return to normal family routines took additional time off work, kept their infants out of day care twice as many days, and were more likely to take their infants to the doctor or hospital for repeat medical care. Parents from families slower to return to a normal routine recalled the hospital stay less favorably. Conclusions.- A small but important proportion of infants have a protracted recovery period following hospitalization for bronchiolitis. Delayed recovery is associated with parental work time loss and less favorable parental impressions of care in the hospital. Anticipatory guidance about home recovery could allow parents to plan for extended home care and improve satisfaction with hospital care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health