1The National Medical Center College of Nursing, Korea. 2Seoul National University, College of Nursing, Korea. 3Yonsei University, College of Nursing, Korea. 4Kyunghee University, College of Nursing Science, Korea. 5Ewha Womans University, College of Nursing Science, Korea. 6Korea University, College of Nursing, Korea. 7Redcross College of Nursing, Korea. 8Hanyang University, Dept. of Nursing, Korea. 9Inha University, Dept. of Nursing, Korea.
This study analyzed the services as operated by the Child Health Telephone Service Center. The Center is a toll free service operated as part of the community services of the Korean Academic Society of Child Health Nursing. The aim of the study was to describe the concerns of child caregivers regarding child health care as discussed during telephone counseling. Specific objectives were as follows: 1. To analyze the activities of the Center. 2. To describe the characteristics of caregivers who made phone calls for counseling services and also the characteristics of their children. 3. To analyze the content of the counseling sessions. 4. To analyze counseling content according to the characteristics of the caregivers and their children. Data used for the study were obtained from the counseling records for the period from Sept. to Dec. 1999, as kept by the three counselors at the Center. The total number of calls was 8,261 and that consisted of 15,150 questions. The total questions were merged into 13,236 by eliminating those questions which overlapped or were of similar content. The final 13,236 questions were used for the final analyses.
Almost of the callers (98.4%) were mothers. Among them 89.6% were between 25 and 35 years of age. Geographical distribution of the callers covered the whole nation. The largest numbers who made the calls were from the Seoul metropolitan area (36%), followed by 28% from Kyung Gi Province, and 20% were from the Kyung Sang area. Among 8,261 callers, 72.8% were first users. Sex of the babies and children in question for counseling was about even for males and females and ages ranged from one month to six years. The largest group (62.5%) was the less than six month age group.
The finalized 13,236 questions/problems were categorized into 11 problem areas. They were in order of frequency, physical problems, feedings and nutrient concerns, information on child rearing, growth and development, guidance on utilization of child care facilities, elimination problems, sleeping concerns, immunization related concerns, behavior problems, injury and accidents, and safety measures. The most frequent problems for counseling were physical signs and symptoms (27.3%), followed by feeding and nutrients, information on child rearing, and growth and development. Of physical problems, abnormal gastrointestinal signs and symptoms were the most frequent concern and skin problems were next at 25% and 23.3% respectively. Loose bowels, vomiting and constipation were the most frequent gastrointestinal problems. Atopic dermatitis had the highest frequency at 53.3% with diaper rash being the second highest among the skin problems. About 80% of the growth and developmental category were physical development concerns related to physiological, body growth, and motor and sensory development. This study constitutes the activity report for the first year of the Center. The findings correspond with literature reports on child health problems and parents educational needs. One recommendation from this study is that since the services of the Center are carried out only by telephone, the psychology of the counselees and the counselor relationship must be considered for better services.