BACKGROUND: Children with chronic kidney disease require specialist renal paediatric dietetic care, regardless of disease severity or geographical location; however, under-resourcing makes this challenging. Videoconsultation may offer a solution but research exploring its acceptability is limited. The present study explored parent/carer and child perspectives of videoconsultation as an alternative or supplement to existing regional dietetic care.
METHODS: Children and families using a regional paediatric nephrology service were recruited through purposeful sampling techniques. Renal paediatric dietitians used existing hospital software to host videoconsultations with families. Perspectives were subsequently explored in telephone interviews with the children, their parents and separately with the renal dietitians. Data were transcribed verbatim and an inductive framework analysis conducted.
RESULTS: Twelve families took part in the study, comprising 13 parents and five children (aged 9 months to 14 years). Two renal dietitians were also interviewed. Six themes emerged which were 'Logistics', 'Understanding Information', 'Family Engagement', 'Establishing Trust', 'Willingness to Change' and 'Preferences'. Satisfaction with the videoconsultations was high, with no data security fears and only minor privacy concerns. Parents reported that screen-sharing software enhanced their understanding, generating greater discussion and engagement compared to clinic and telephone contacts. Parents praised efficiencies and improved access to specialist advice, requesting that videoconsultations supplement care. Children preferred videoconsultations outright.
CONCLUSIONS: Dietetic videoconsultations were acceptable to families and perceived to be a feasible, high-quality complement to regional specialist dietetic care. Enhanced understanding and engagement might improve self-care in adolescents. The acceptability and feasibility of videoconsultations could address inequitable regional service provision.
Bibliographical noteThe acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.