Introduction: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in infants has a significant impact on the quality of life of their parents.
Material and methods: Cross-sectional study on the sociological family impact related to rotavirus AGE in children under 2 years. The study was carried out in 25 hospitals and 5 primary care centres in Spain. Sociodemographic, epidemiological and clinical data were recorded, as well as the symptomatology of AGE and its severity measured by the Clark scale. Stool samples were tested to determine rotavirus positive (RV+) or negative (RV-). The parents were asked to complete a a family impact questionnaire.
Results: Stool specimens were tested in 1087 AGE cases (584 RV+ vs 503 RV-). The 99.5 % of parents whose children were RV+ reported more worries vs. the 97.7 % of RV-, and RV+ had a higher importance score (p < 0.05). A higher percentage of RV+ parents and those with a high importance score reported more time dedicated to dehydration treatment (p < 0.05). The 82.5 % vs. 73.9 % had disruption of their household tasks, with more importance scores (p < 0.05). RV+ had a higher percentage and importance score than RV- ones in all aspects of their child's AGE symptoms, except loss of appetite.
Conclusion: AGE produces important dysfunctional experiences in daily family life. According to parental perceptions, RV+ produces greater worries and dysfunctions in child behaviour.