Public Release: 

Helping parents decide on care for children with minor head trauma

JAMA Network Open

Bottom Line: More than 450,000 children visit emergency departments every year because of head trauma and many will undergo head computed tomography (CT) imaging, although few scans will show evidence of traumatic brain injury. Efforts have been made to avoid unnecessary CT imaging in children and to reduce radiation exposure. An information tool to help parents decide about care for their children with minor head trauma didn't reduce the rate of CT imaging in emergency departments in this randomized clinical trial. However, parent knowledge increased, they were more involved in decisions over CT use, and health care utilization decreased during the following week.

Authors: Erik P. Hess, M.D., M.Sc., University of Alabama at Birmingham, and coauthors

Related Material: The invited commentary, "Shared Decision-Making Tools in Pediatric Acute Care," by M. Denise Dowd, M.D., M.P.H., Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, also is available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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