Burden of acute gastroenteritis among children younger than 5 years of age - a survey among parents in the United Arab Emirates Full Text
BMC Pediatrics, 06/22/2012
Howidi M et al. – Given its high incidence, pediatric gastroenteritis has an important financial and productivity impact on parents in the United Arab Emirates. To reduce this impact, efforts should be made both to prevent acute gastroenteritis and to optimize its treatment.Methods
- A quantitative cross-sectional survey of 500 parents of children under 5 years of age who had suffered from acute gastroenteritis the preceding three months was conducted in the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
- Data collected included respondent characteristics, disease symptoms, medical care sought, and parental expenditures and work loss.
- Data were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric statistical methods.
- Vomiting and diarrhea episodes lasted on average between 3 and 4 days. Overall, 87% of parents sought medical care for their children; 10% of these cases required hospitalization with an average length of stay of 2.6 days.
- When medical care was sought, the average parental cost per gastroenteritis episode was US$64, 4.5 times higher than with home care only (US$14).
- Nearly 60% of this difference was attributable to co-payments and medication use: 69% of children used oral rehydration solution, 68% antiemetics, 65% antibiotics and 64% antidiarrheals.
- Overall, 38 parents missed work per 100 gastroenteritis episodes for an average of 1.4 days.