Beth Andresen1, Jules Richards1, Mary Lang1, Marie Cooke1, Jacqueline Jauncey-Cooke1
Background & Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the parental perspective of a child’s pain at home post tonsillectomy.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with parents of children, 7-14 days post-tonsillectomy over a three month period (June to September, 2016). Informed consent was obtained during their admission.
Results: Of the potential 284 participants 45% (n=127) agreed to participate in interviews, the majority identifying as the child’s mother (90%; n=115). From the parent’s perspective, 32% of children (n=41) had moderate to severe pain at the time of interview. Most parents were still giving regular Paracetamol at 7 days (n=104; 82%); and 31% (n=39) had finished their Oxycodone prescription at the time of the interview. Many parents had additionally provided non-prescribed analgesics, with greater than half (62%; n=79) using Ibuprofen and 12% (n=15) using Codeine-containing medications. Some parents felt that they had been given an inadequate amount of Oxycodone. “Oxycodone finished day three and the ear pain kicked in on day five but only had panadol and nurofen left to treat the pain.“ The lived experience for some parents was worse than they anticipated and prompted many to seek help from their doctor, hospital, pharmacy and the internet to manage the pain; “More pain than expected. I didn't imagine how many times I would need to seek help.”
Conclusions: The results indicate that parents thought pain was a substantial problem. Parents felt unprepared for the amount and duration of pain their child experienced. There appears to be a gap in pain management post tonsillectomy which is not covered by opioids or in combination with simple analgesia. The study suggests changes to the discharge medications and parental education is warranted to meet the needs of the patient and their family.
Acknowledgements/Disclosures: Funding from Children’s Hospital Foundation Innovation Grant 10418-2.