Probiotics: what do parents want?

Some day, I might slow down with the probiotics posts, but not right now!

A letter published in Archives reports the results of a parent survey. In the 3 NICUs implicated probiotics are given with parental information and an ‘opt-out’ approach, where probiotic administration is routine, but parents can refuse if they wish.

Parents of babies recently in these NICUs were surveyed,

the vast majority of respondents (51/53; 96%) considered that parents of high-risk premature babies born at other units that do not yet offer probiotics should have the right to be informed of the evidence of their potential benefits. Most (34/53; 64%) also felt that, given the current evidence on risk reduction for NEC or death, other parents deserved the right to be informed of the data and the option of probiotic treatment for their babies.

They also note

 Only 7/58 (12%) units gave probiotics to preterm/VLBW babies; 11/58 (19%) units stated they were considering whether to introduce probiotics and 22/58 (38%) units reported that they were awaiting results of the Probiotic in Preterm babies Study.

and not surprisingly

We find that parents focus on the short-term outcomes of survival and avoiding NEC rather than on any theoretical longer-term effects such as on immune function or metabolism. While doctors debate and deliberate, parents would appear to prefer probiotic proactivity.

About keithbarrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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