Predictors of successful telephone follow-up in a multicenter study of infants with severe bronchiolitis

Ann Epidemiol. 2017 Jul;27(7):454-458.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2017.05.018. Epub 2017 Jun 5.


Purpose: To identify the characteristics that predict successful telephone follow-up with parents of infants with severe bronchiolitis.

Methods: We analyzed data from a 17-center, prospective cohort study of infants (age <1 year) hospitalized with bronchiolitis during three consecutive fall/winter seasons. Participant contact information and clinical data were collected during the index hospitalization. Parents were called at 6-month intervals (based on the child's age) after discharge to assess respiratory problems. The primary outcome was age 12-month telephone interview status. Participants were classified as unreachable after 28 days of unsuccessful attempts.

Results: 798 of 916 children (87%) completed the age 12-month telephone interview. In unadjusted analyses, factors associated with successful follow-up included: private health insurance, annual household income $60,000 or more, and residing in the Northeast, Midwest, or West. Follow-up was less common among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and households with 3 or more children. In multivariable analyses, follow-up was more likely among parents of females, and, compared with the South, in the Northeast and Midwest (all P < .05). Compared with non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics remained less likely to complete the interview as did households with 3 or more children (all P < .05).

Conclusion: Sociodemographic and geographic factors predict successful telephone follow-up, even among parents of infants with severe illness.

Keywords: Bronchiolitis; Cohort studies; Follow-up; Infant; Race; Socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bronchiolitis / diagnosis
  • Bronchiolitis / ethnology*
  • Child
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Telephone*
  • United States / epidemiology