BACKGROUND: Due to decreased hospital stay, follow-up of unresolved medical problems of babies with uncomplicated postpartumcourse is relegated to outpatient clinics. OBJECTIVE: To identify factors in discharge letters that influence parent compliance. METHODS: Telephone contact with parents three months after discharge queried compliance with routine and special instructions as written in discharge letters. Statistical analyses compared responses of compliant versus less compliant parents. P<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. The present study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Review Board Committee. RESULTS: Of the 2000 discharge letters, 319 (16%) included special instructions. Parents of 252 infants (79%) who received discharge letters containing 332 special instructions were interviewed by telephone. Compliance was greater for noninvasive instructions (86%) relative to others (57.8%) (P<0.001). Initiation of follow-up visits was correlated with parity (P<0.001) and maternal age (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Discharge letters should be read and discussed with parents before infants are discharged, and the relevance of specific medical instructions should be emphasized.
- Follow-up study
- Health care survey
- Health information
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health