The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2009 , Vol 51 , Num 6
Physicians’ attitudes and perception of pediatric trauma cost
Departments of 1Pediatric Surgery and 3Public Health, Kırıkkale University Faculty of Medicine, Kırıkkale, and 2Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey Pediatric trauma is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children. A questionnaire was applied to evaluate physicians’ attitudes and perception of pediatric trauma cost.

Physicians working in the field of pediatric trauma (namely those who work in emergency services, pediatrics and pediatric surgery departments; who are consulted regarding pediatric traumas; and those for whom pediatric trauma patients constitute the majority of their patient spectrum) were enrolled in the survey. A questionnaire was administered to elicit the demographic data, features of pediatric trauma in their practice, self-perception of pediatric trauma knowledge, estimation of trauma severity, parameters used for pediatric trauma diagnosis, and perception of pediatric trauma score (PTS) and trauma cost.

A total of 103 physicians responded to the questionnaire (median age: 30.8 ± 5.6 years; range: 24–56). Of the 103 respondents, 49 were males (47.6%) and 54 were females (52.4%). Physicians responding to the questionnaire were specialists in Pediatrics (32.9%), Pediatric Surgeons (5.9%), Emergency Medicine Specialists (2.9%), and residents (47.6%) in those three disciplines in University Hospitals, Public Hospitals and Research Hospitals. Physicians reported falls (58.1%) as the most common cause of trauma, and noted head injuries with an incidence of 49.9% in their trauma practice. Physicians’ self-perception of their pediatric trauma knowledge was questioned in three categories as: overall, diagnosis and treatment of trauma. They reported that their knowledge of pediatric trauma overall and regarding diagnosis and treatment was “efficient” at rates of 87.4%, 83.6% and 74.8%, respectively. However, while 76.7% of physicians perform radiological evaluations in all trauma patients, only 56.3% of them use laboratory tests routinely in diagnosis. Participants reported that cost of trauma was mostly affected by severity of trauma (49.5%) and least affected by the patient’s sex (64.1%). They also believed that radiologic evaluations (66%) accounted for the largest portion of trauma cost and the cost of consultations (44.7%) for the smallest portion.

In conclusion, we suggest that although most physicians were aware of cost factors in trauma, they did not consider trauma costs in diagnosis and management. Keywords : trauma cost, children, physicians, perception, attitude.

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