Pediatric Acute Gastroenteritis

Pediatric Acute Gastroenteritis

Characterized by vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common illness in pediatric populations. In Canada, pediatric AGE accounts for 200,000 emergency visits, 20,000 hospital admissions, and 30 deaths a year. Yet, there continues to be significant practice variations in the treatment of AGE. Knowledge translation (KT) can help close the research-practice gap. In particular, art and stories are powerful mediums that cut across age, culture, language, literacy, and gender barriers. 

The purpose of this study was to work with parents to develop an e-Book and whiteboard animation video for parents on pediatric AGE. Using a multi-method research process, we developed a 2 minute 57 second video and 39-page e-Book for pediatric AGE. Both tools underwent usability testing with parents in three Canadian emergency department waiting rooms in urban, rural, and remote regions. Focus groups were also conducted with parents in each of the three regions. Overall, parents felt that digital and paper-based KT tools would be beneficial knowledge dissemination mediums. Our study showed that parents positively rated an e-Book and whiteboard animation video for pediatric AGE. These findings demonstrate how working together with key stakeholders can facilitate the development of KT tools for parents that are usable, relevant, and increase parental confidence. Furthermore, the type of KT tool developed is an important decision that may depend on parental preferences as well as when and where parents access the tools.


The ECHO research program is focused on improving health outcomes for children with acute health conditions through the application of the best available evidence — a process known as knowledge translation (KT).

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Physical treatments can include physiotherapy, prescribed exercise plans, strengthening exercises, massage, and more. 

Psychological treatments can include counselling or talk therapy, supportive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, mediation, and more. They can be provided on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.