Reducing Primary Care Attendance Intentions for Pediatric Respiratory Tract Infections

Annegret Schneider, Christie Cabral, Natalie Herd, Alastair Hay, Jo Kesten, Emma Anderson, Isabel Lane, Charles Beck, Susan F Michie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
550 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study was to evaluate a theory and evidence-based parent-targeted online intervention, combining microbiological local syndromic surveillance data, symptom information, and home-care advice, to reduce primary care attendance for self-limiting, low-risk pediatric respiratory tract infections (RTIs).

The effect of this novel intervention on primary care attendance intentions was evaluated in an online experimental study. A representative sample of mothers (N = 806) was randomized to be presented with the intervention material before (intervention) or after (control) answering questions concerning attendance intentions for an RTI illness scenario and mediating factors. Both groups provided feedback on the material. Group comparisons and linear regression and path analyses were conducted.

Intervention participants reported lower attendance intentions compared to control participants (d = 0.69; CI = 0.55 to 0.83), an effect that remained when controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics (B = -1.62, CI = -1.97 to -1.30). The path model highlighted that the intervention effect (B = -0.33, CI = -0.40 to -0.26) was mostly indirect and mediated by infection and antibiotic knowledge, symptom severity concerns and as social norm perceptions concerning attendance. Information on when to attend was rated 227x as the most important intervention component, followed by symptoms (186x). Information on circulating viruses was rated as least important (274x).

The intervention was effective in reducing primary care attendance intentions by increasing knowledge, lowering attendance motivation and reducing the need for additional resources. The contribution of individual intervention components and effects on behavioral outcomes requires further testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol


  • antimicrobial resistance
  • behavioral medicine
  • child health
  • eHealth
  • primary care

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