This study assessed primary care physicians' familiarity and attitudes toward oral rehydration therapy in the management of mild, moderate or severe diarrheal dehydration in children. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to a cross-sectional representation of pediatricians, family practitioners and pediatric residents in North Central Florida. All were familiar with this type of therapy. Fewer were familiar with the Florida Oral Rehydration Therapy Program. Pediatricians reported significantly higher self-assessment scores than family practitioners or residents, and more of them were familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations for treatment of dehydration. Pediatric residents used intravenous therapy more frequently than pediatricians or family practitioners. The major obstacles to oral rehydration therapy use were identified as parental acceptance, compliance, and lack of a specific treatment area. The findings of this study suggest that pediatricians are more confident in their assessment, management and use of this type of therapy in children. Efforts to increase its use should focus on educational programs for physicians and parents. Dissemination of information to parents and pediatric providers may promote early treatment which should prevent more severe degrees of dehydration, decrease hospitalization and possibly prevent unnecessary deaths.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the Florida Medical Association|
|State||Published - 1994|
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