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Revista de Enfermagem Referência

versión impresa ISSN 0874-0283

Resumen

RODRIGUES, Susana Sofia de Oliveira Ferreira. Psychological contributions to understanding inappropriate use of a pediatric emergency service. Rev. Enf. Ref. [online]. 2012, vol.serIII, n.7, pp.73-82. ISSN 0874-0283.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12707/RIII1114.

Currently there is a growing increase in the number of inappropriate emergency cases presenting to the pediatric emergency service. A descriptive and quantitative study was developed to identify the psychological factors that may contribute to understanding inappropriate use of these services. A convenience sample was selected and the total sample size was 115 dyads of a child-caretaker who inappropriately sought care from emergency service at a pediatric hospital in Lisbon. Data were collected between October and November in 2008 using the emergency service records, interviews and a questionnaire on beliefs and health perceptions constructed for this study. The results revealed that in 2008 each child presented on average 5 times to the emergency service. The frequent use of this service was related to positive beliefs of caretakers, such as trust and confidence in the care received and easy access to care and diagnostic services. The perception of children as fragile was also associated with greater recurrence of emergency service use. Regarding the child health problem behind requesting use of this service, 52.2% of caregivers considered the status of the child to be serious and 66.1% perceived it as urgent. In conclusion, psychological factors may contribute to explaining inappropriate use of health services.

Palabras clave : health services misuse; emergency service; hospital; child health services; psychology.

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