Parents' perspectives, information needs and healthcare preferences when consulting for their children with bronchiolitis: A qualitative study

Acta Paediatr. 2021 Mar;110(3):944-951. doi: 10.1111/apa.15606. Epub 2020 Oct 19.


Aim: Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalisation in infants, but parental experiences have not been well described. This study explored parents' experiences and asked them how they wanted to receive information.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted in a tertiary paediatric hospital in Québec, Canada. It consisted of semi-structured interviews with 15 parents of 13 children with bronchiolitis. The interview guide was constructed by a multidisciplinary team that included a parent. The interviews, which were transcribed verbatim, were conducted until no new themes emerged.

Results: We interviewed eight mothers, three fathers and two couples for 22-70 minutes: six were carried out in person during the bronchiolitis episode, and seven were phone interviews after a median interval time of 107 days. Parents were very worried about their child's health and their lack of knowledge about bronchiolitis contributed to their anxiety. They found education resources informative, but expressed a strong need for support and reassurance from healthcare teams. The two groups provided similar feedback, regardless of when they were interviewed or whether their child was admitted.

Conclusion: Although bronchiolitis is common in infancy, parental knowledge was low. Standardised educational tools were useful, but insufficient to meet all their needs.

Keywords: bronchiolitis; information; parental perspectives; qualitative research; support.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis* / therapy
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Parents*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quebec