Study: This Reduces Stress for Hospitalized Children
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - To ease isolation during extended hospitalizations, UC Davis Children's Hospital offers secure videoconferencing for patients and families. While anecdotal accounts have suggested the Family-Link program enhances quality of life during long hospital stays, clinicians wondered if the technology also offered clinical benefits.
To answer that, a team led by UC Davis professor James Marcin studied 367 children who were hospitalized for at least four days. They found that access to Family-Link significantly reduced patient stress. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
As the popularity of applications like Skype and FaceTime have increased, so has the number of patients interested in using these applications to communicate with family and friends. UC Davis Children's Hospital pioneered the Family-Link program, which provides patients with laptops, webcams and secure internet connections.
"We have many children who transfer from other hospitals and even other states," said Nikki Yang, first author on the study. "Because they are too far away for family and friends to visit, they often ask for laptops so they can teleconference. That was the origin of Family-Link."
While the program began as a service to improve long hospital stays, clinicians wanted to know if it also provided clinical benefits. Earlier studies had shown that in-person family visits can decrease stress and even improve recovery times. But could virtual visits have a similar effect?
To understand Family-Link's impact on anxiety levels, the team studied 367 children, 232 who took advantage of the teleconferencing service and 135 who did not. They used the Parent-Guardian Stress Survey to assess the children's anxiety levels, both at admission and discharge.
The survey included four question groups centered on each child's behavior and emotions; staff communication, sight and sounds and the child's appearance. Parents/guardians were asked whether the child exhibited a variety of behaviors, such as being demanding, frightened, angry or confused. The survey also included questions about the impact of monitoring equipment on stress levels and the staff's ability to communicate important details about the child's care.
Overall, children who used Family-Link experienced a greater reduction in stress than children who did not use Family-Link. Oddly, this effect was even more pronounced for children who lived closer to the hospital and had shorter hospitalizations. This group experienced a 37 percent stress reduction when using Family-Link.
In addition to the stress survey, families were also asked about the quality of the video, audio and overall Family-Link experience. The responses were uniformly positive with the majority of parents rating the program excellent or good.
"This study shows that we have another tool to help children during their hospital stays," said Yang. "The improvement in stress scores shows that Family-Link is really helping many children and might possibly be improving outcomes."
Other authors included Madan Dharmar, Nayla M. Hojman, Candace K. Sadorra, Diana Sundberg, Gary L. Wold and James P. Marcin at UC Davis and Kourosh Parsapour at UC Irvine.
This research was partially funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Golden Bear Chapter of the California AT&T Pioneers.
UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and Level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. With more than 120 physicians in 33 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital has more than 74,000 clinic and hospital visits and 13,000 emergency department visits each year. For more information, visit http://children.ucdavis.edu.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesAmerican River Project: Water Transfer ApprovedDrought Watch: At the May 21 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the release of 12,000 acre-feet
Granite Bay Cuts Water Use 32 PercentDrought Watch: Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their water use by 32 percent in April compared to 2013.
When 20 Billion Gallons of Water Savings is Not EnoughDrought Watch: Even though customers from 19 Sacramento-area water agencies have saved more than 20 billion gallons
$900,000 Window Project: Placer County Courthouse AuburnWork is under way on a construction project that will restore and repair aging windows at Placer County's Historic Courthouse in Auburn.
Squaw Valley High Profile Development ProposedA proposed high-profile project is in the works that would transform 94 acres in Squaw Valley into a development offering numerous resort residential options and amenities
Auburn Library Opens with Flooring Project CompletionThe Auburn branch of the Placer County Library has been closed since May 1
Kaiser Permanente Roseville Honors Fallen for Memorial DayKaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center held a special ceremony yesterday honoring the memories of all who have died on behalf of our country
Raley's and iFoster Launch Foster Youth Hiring Program iFoster has partnered with Raley's Family of Fine Stores to develop a new hiring program for foster youth.
Auburn Non-Profit Above All Adventures Utilizes IndiegogoIn Placer County, 13 is the average age for first time alcohol and illegal prescription use, and binge drinking increases threefold between 9th and 11th graders
5 Skills Adolescents Need for a Successful and Satisfying Life"During the physical, emotional and intellectual explosions of the adolescent years, it's critical that teenagers develop a belief in their own ability to succeed
Kidney Cancer Secrets Revealed?An international team of scientists, led by UC Davis nephrologist Robert Weiss, have used a sophisticated combination of proteomics and metabolomics to show how
Autism Speaks Walk at River Cats StadiumWalk Now for Autism Speaks takes place at River Cats Stadium on May 31, 2015. ( via ATOU Cares.org)
NEWS: In Case You Missed It