Pediatric nurses in pediatricians' offices: a survey for primary care pediatricians

BMC Fam Pract. 2021 Jun 29;22(1):136. doi: 10.1186/s12875-021-01457-1.


Background: The role played by nurses in caring for children in pediatricians' officies in the community is crucial to ensure integrated care. In Italy, pediatricians are responsible for the health of children aged 0-14 years living in the community. This study aimed to describe Italian primary care pediatricians' opinions about the usefulness of several nursing activities that pediatric nurses could perform in pediatricians' offices.

Methods: An online survey with pediatricians working in primary care in Italy was conducted between April-December 2018. A 40-item questionnaire was used to assess four types of nursing activities: clinical care, healthcare education, disease prevention, and organizational activities. The answers ranged from 1 (not useful at all) to 6 (very useful). Moreover, three open-ended questions completed the questionnaire.

Results: Overall, 707 pediatricians completed the online survey. Participants were mainly female (63%), with a mean age of 57.74 (SD = 6.42). The presence of a pediatric nurse within the pediatrician's office was considered very useful, especially for healthcare education (Mean 4.90; SD 1.12) and disease prevention (Mean 4.82; SD 1.11). Multivariate analysis confirmed that pediatricians 'with less working experience', 'having their office in a small town', and 'collaborating with a secretary and other workers in the office' rated the nurse's activities significantly more useful.

Conclusions: A pediatric nurse in the pediatrician's office can significantly contribute to many activities for children and their families in the community. These activities include clinical care, healthcare education, disease prevention, and the organizational processes of the office. Synergic professional activity between pediatricians and pediatric nurses could ensure higher health care standards in the primary care setting.

Keywords: Attitude of health personnel; Clinical competence; Community care facilities; Community health nurses; Health promotion; Pediatric nurses; Pediatricians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nurses, Pediatric*
  • Pediatricians*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires