Nasal saline irrigation in preschool children: A survey of attitudes and prescribing habits of primary care pediatricians working in northern Italy

Paola Marchisio, Marina Picca, Sara Torretta, Elena Baggi, Angela Pasinato, Sonia Bianchini, Erica Nazzari, Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

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Abstract

It has been shown that nasal saline irrigation (NSI) alone can be effective in children with infectious and/or allergic respiratory problems, but no study has assessed the awareness or clinical use of NSI among practising pediatricians. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the use of NSI in pre-school children by primary care pediatricians working in northern Italy. Methods. Nine hundred randomly selected National Health Service primary care pediatricians with an e-mail address were sent an e-mail asking whether they were willing to respond to a questionnaire regarding the use of NSI. The 870 who answered positively were sent an anonymous questionnaire by post and e-mail that had 17 multiple-choice items. Results: Completed questionnaires were received from 860 of the 870 primary care pediatricians (98.8%). NSI was used by almost all the respondents (99.3%), although with significant differences in frequency. It was considered both a prophylactic and a therapeutic measure by most of the respondents (60.3%), who prescribed it every day for healthy children and more frequently when they were ill. Most of the primary care pediatricians (87%) indicated an isotonic solution as the preferred solution, and the most frequently recommended administration devices were a nasal spray (67.7%) and bulb syringe (20.6%). Most of the pediatricians (75.6%) convinced parents to use NSI by explaining it could have various beneficial effects, and two-thirds (527/854; 61.7%) thought that most of the parents agreed about the importance of NSI. Analysis of possible associations between NSI prescribing behaviour and the demographic data revealed an associations with age and gender, with pediatricians aged

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2014

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Keywords

  • Hypertonic saline solution
  • Isotonic saline solution
  • Nasal saline irrigation
  • Nasal spray
  • Respiratory tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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