Background: The period following discharge from a pediatric emergency department (ED) can be a time of significant vulnerability for caregivers who provide ongoing care to their child when they return home. Discharge communication practice varies widely at the individual practitioner and departmental level. At present, there are no nationally accepted guidelines for discharge communication for children and/or their caregivers in the ED. The primary objective of this knowledge synthesis is to understand how and why discharge instructions work and under what conditions. We will also examine the contextual factors and barriers and facilitators associated with discharge communication across varied ED settings.
Methods/Design: Using an integrated narrative approach, we will synthesize different types of evidence and explore relationships within and between included studies to develop a theory-based and knowledge user-informed discharge communication practice guideline. We will follow key principles for knowledge synthesis including: (1) involvement of a multidisciplinary team (for example, information specialists, statisticians, and content experts); (2) developing focused and answerable questions in collaboration with the knowledge users; (3) using a systematic method including specific tools and techniques appropriate for answering questions concerned with effectiveness and the implementation of interventions; and, (4) involving knowledge users throughout the process in an integrated knowledge translation approach.
Discussion: This collaborative and narrative approach will be a determining factor in increasing the reliability, validity and relevance of the study findings for healthcare practice and policy decision-makers.
Authors: Janet A Curran, Andrea Murphy, Mandi Newton, Roger Zemek, Lisa Hartling, Amy Plint, Jill Chorney, Shannon MacPhee, Samuel G Campbell, Mona Jabbour, Darlene Boliver, David Petrie, Randy Colwell, Kate MacWilliams & Alicia Nolan
Janet Curran - firstname.lastname@example.org