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Parental fatigue before and after ventilation tube insertion in their children

Objective: To determine if there is a difference in fatigue for caregivers of children with otitis media pre and post ventilation tube insertion (VTI). Methods: Consecutive parents presenting with children at a pediatric otolaryngology practice at an academic medical center with recurrent otitis media who met criteria for VTI or who were following up within 6 weeks of VTI were surveyed with the Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFQ), a Visual Analogue Fatigue Scale (VAS-F), and demographic questions. Results: No significant demographic differences were found (P < 0.05) in the preop versus postop groups. 101 parents participated, 88 mothers and 13 fathers. 59.4% were married or cohabitating, 18.8% were single, 10.9% were divorced, and 10.9% declined to answer. 45.5% were aged 18-29 years, 50.1% were 30-39 years, 2.9% were 40+ years, 1.0% declined to answer. 53.0% were college graduates. 46 (45.5%) were preop and 55 (54.5%) were postop. There were no statistical differences between these groups for age, gender, marital status, education level or number or children in the household. Mean VAS-F, with 0 being worst fatigue and 10 being normal, was 5.256 in the preop group and 6.777 in the postop group (p < 0.001). Mean CFQ, with higher numbers meaning worse fatigue, was 15.749 in the preop group and 11.804 in the postop group (p = 0.002). Conclusion: Parental fatigue can have significant effects on the family. Fatigue in parents whose children have otitis media has not been previously described. VTI for recurrent otitis media in children is associated with improved fatigue in their parents.
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American journal of otolaryngology
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