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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3P843Z80

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A Randomized Controlled Trial of Storytelling as a Communication Tool. Open Access

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Author or creator
Hartling, L.
Scott, S. D.
Johnson, D. W.
Bishop, T.
Klassen, T. P.
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
education
storytelling
critical care
child health
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
Introduction Stories may be an effective tool to communicate with patients because of their ability to engage the reader. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of story booklets compared to standard information sheets for parents of children attending the emergency department (ED) with a child with croup. Methods Parents were randomized to receive story booklets (n=208) or standard information sheets (n=205) during their ED visit. The primary outcome was change in anxiety between triage to ED discharge as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted at 1 and 3 days after discharge, then every other day until 9 days (or until resolution of symptoms), and at 1 year. Secondary outcomes included: expected future anxiety, event impact, parental knowledge, satisfaction, decision regret, healthcare utilization, time to symptom resolution. Results There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of change in parental anxiety between recruitment and ED discharge (change of 5 points for the story group vs. 6 points for the comparison group, p=0.78). The story group showed significantly greater decision regret regarding their decision to go to the ED (p<0.001): 6.7% of the story group vs. 1.5% of the comparison group strongly disagreed with the statement “I would go for the same choice if I had to do it over again”. The story group reported shorter time to resolution of symptoms (mean 3.7 days story group vs. 4.0 days comparison group, median 3 days both groups; log rank test, p=0.04). No other outcomes were different between study groups. Conclusions Stories about parent experiences managing a child with croup did not reduce parental anxiety. The story group showed significantly greater decision regret and quicker time to resolution of symptoms. Further research is needed to better understand whether stories can be effective in improving patient-important outcomes.
Date created
2013
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3P843Z80
License information
Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported
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Citation for previous publication
Hartling, L., Scott, S. D., Johnson, D. W., Bishop, T., & Klassen, T. P. (2013). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Storytelling as a Communication Tool. PLoS One, 8(10), e77800. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077800.
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