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.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesView Lowest Gas Prices in RosevilleCheck daily to save money as we post the lowest gas prices in Roseville.
Hyundai Genesis: Quite an Impressive SedanRedesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Genesis features a roomier cabin, improved engines, better fuel economy, additional entertainment options, and offers all-wheel drive
Coping with Holiday StressHolidays can be filled with joy, laughter, family and good friends. But for some, the holidays bring on additional stress and seasonal "blues."
396 Years to Life for Roaming RapistDereck Jermaine Sanders known as the Roaming Rapist has been sentenced to 396 years to life in prison.
Seniors First's Cafés Nourish Bodies and SpiritsDuring a rainy winter, when inclement weather can preclude a trip to the store or local food closet, it's important to remind the elderly and their families that there are local options available
Business Executive Fighting Lou Gehrig's DiseaseAbout five years ago, Todd Neva, now of Hancock, Michigan, began having trouble lifting his daughter from her carseat. Over time,
$226,278 Raised in Dutch Bros. Buck for Kids DayOn Friday, Dec. 5, Dutch Bros. Coffee and customers banded together to raise $226,278 for children on the company's annual Buck for Kids Day.
Roseville 5th Graders Provide Inspiration to PatientsEach month, fifth-grade students from Stoneridge Elementary School's Leadership Club visit Sutter Rehabilitation Institute (SRI) in Roseville to visit patients.
Rocklin Unified's Beleaguered Special Ed Program Seeks ChangeThe Rocklin Unified School District has contracted with WestED to perform a study on its beleaguered Special Education department.
Roseville Charity Hearts that Care Partners with Placer SIUOn December 17th, 2014, The Placer County Special Investigation Unit (SIU), a Placer County Law Enforcement Task Force comprised of State and local Placer County law enforcement
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (12.19.14)Crime report digest update for Roseville California, December 19, 2014
Food for 400,000 Meals Raised for Placer Food BankThunder Valley Casino Resort and Whitney Oaks Golf Club have collected over 50,000 pounds of food for Placer Food Bank food drive.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It