Objective: (1) To determine the proportion of parents concerned about medical errors during a child's hospitalization; and (2) the association between this concern and parental self-efficacy with physician interactions.
Study design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Tertiary care children's hospital.
Participants: Parents of children admitted to the general medical service.
Outcome measure: Parental concern about medical errors.
Methods: : Parents were asked their agreement with the statement "When my child is in the hospital I feel that I have to watch over the care that he/she is receiving to make sure that mistakes aren't made." We used multivariate logistic regression to examine the association between parents' self-efficacy with physician interactions and the need "to watch over a child's care," adjusting for parent and child demographics, English proficiency, past hospitalization, and social desirability bias.
Results: Of 278 eligible parents, 130 completed surveys and 63% reported the need to watch over their child's care to ensure that mistakes were not made. Parents with greater self-efficacy with physician interactions were less likely to report this need (odds ratio [OR], 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.92). All parents who were "very uncomfortable" communicating with doctors in English reported the need to watch over their child's care to prevent mistakes.
Conclusions: Nearly two-thirds of surveyed parents felt the need to watch over their child's hospital care to prevent mistakes. Parents with greater self-efficacy with physician interactions were less likely to report the need to watch over their child's care while parents with lower English proficiency were more likely to report this need.