The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting most countries around the world, with provinces across the country declaring it a public health emergency. As a result, parents may be finding themselves under significant stress—particularly if their children require a visit to the pediatric emergency department. Others may be seeking medical advice to alleviate concerns over the virus.

Alberta researchers are hoping to assess the attitudes and actions of parents and caregivers regarding COVID-19, including reasons why they visited the Alberta Children’s Hospital during the pandemic, and what their thoughts are about COVID-19 vaccinations during this time.

Dr. Graham Thompson, an assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary says this study is unique. “While  most COVID-19 studies are about diagnosis or treatment for the virus, to our knowledge, there hasn’t been an evaluation of parent or caregiver thoughts or actions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we feel it’s such valuable information to gather.”

The study is simple. Participants will be asked to complete a short online survey that takes approximately five minutes to complete. The survey will ask questions around COVID-19, including  concerns they may have, how they are receiving information about the pandemic, and why they brought their children to the Alberta Children’s Hospital during this time.

“We understand that during this unprecedented time, families may be fearful of approaching an emergency department where COVID-19 infection may be present,” says Thompson. “The study will help us understand the reasons behind bringing their children to the emergency department, be it for medical advice or because of other non-COVID-19 related matters.”

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