BACKGROUND: Urgent and emergency care health services are overburdened, and the use of these services by acutely ill infants and children is increasing. A large proportion of these visits could be sufficiently addressed by other health care professionals. Uncertainty about the severity of a child's symptoms is one of many factors that play a role in parents' decisions to take their children to emergency services, demonstrating the need for improved support for health literacy. Digital interventions are a potential tool to improve parents' knowledge, confidence, and self-efficacy at managing acute childhood illness. However, existing systematic reviews related to this topic need to be updated and expanded to provide a contemporary review of the impact, usability, and limitations of these solutions.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review protocol is to present the method for an evaluation of the impact, usability, and limitations of different types of digital educational interventions to support parents caring for acutely ill children at home.
METHODS: The review will be structured using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) and Population, Intervention, Comparator, and Outcome (PICO) frameworks. Five databases will be systematically searched for studies published in English during and after 2014: Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, APA PsycNet, and Web of Science. Two reviewers will independently screen references' titles and abstracts, select studies for inclusion based on the eligibility criteria, and extract the data into a standardized form. Any disagreements will be discussed and resolved by a third reviewer if necessary. Risk of bias of all studies will be assessed using the Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT), and a descriptive analysis will be used to evaluate the outcomes reported.
RESULTS: The systematic review will commence during 2021.
CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review will summarize the impact, usability, and limitations of digital interventions for parents with acutely ill children. It will provide an overview of the field; identify reported impacts on health and behavioral outcomes as well as parental knowledge, satisfaction, and decision making; and identify the factors that affect use to help inform the development of more effective and sustainable interventions.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/27504.
Bibliographical note©Madison Milne-Ives, Sarah Neill, Natasha Bayes, Mitch Blair, Jane Blewitt, Lucy Bray, Enitan D Carrol, Bernie Carter, Rob Dawson, Paul Dimitri, Monica Lakhanpaul, Damian Roland, Alison Tavare, Edward Meinert, ASK SNIFF Consortium. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 30.06.2021.
- acute disease
- child health
- childhood disease
- childhood illness
- digital intervention
- health education
- health literacy
- help-seeking behavior
- primary care
- sick child