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Posthospital Follow-Up Visits for Bronchiolitis May Not Be Needed

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 -- As-needed follow-up is an equally effective posthospitalization follow-up strategy when compared with a scheduled follow-up visit for young children hospitalized for bronchiolitis, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Eric R. Coon, M.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues randomly assigned children younger than 24 months of age hospitalized for bronchiolitis at two children's hospitals and two community hospitals (January 2018 through April 2019) to a scheduled (151 children) or an as-needed (153 children) posthospitalization follow-up visit. The primary outcome of parental anxiety was assessed seven days after hospital discharge; the primary outcome was available for 269 patients.

The researchers found that 81 percent of children in the scheduled follow-up group attended a scheduled visit versus 19 percent of children in the as-needed group. The mean seven-day parental anxiety score was lower among the as-needed posthospitalization follow-up group versus the scheduled group (3.9 versus 4.2). There were no significant between-group differences in secondary outcomes, including readmissions (any hospital readmission before symptom resolution) and symptom duration (time from discharge to cough resolution, time from discharge to child reported "back to normal," and time from discharge to symptom resolution).

"In the absence of specific concerns, medical practitioners can recommend as-needed follow-up to parents of children hospitalized for bronchiolitis," the authors write.

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Posted: July 2020