Parental Attitudes and Knowledge about Lumbar Puncture in Children

Acoglu E. A. , Oguz M. M. , Sari E., Yucel H., Akcaboy M., Zorlu P., ...More

Pediatric Emergency Care, vol.37, no.7, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/pec.0000000000001594
  • Title of Journal : Pediatric Emergency Care
  • Keywords: lumbar puncture, parental attitudes about lumbar puncture


© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.Objectives Lumbar puncture (LP) is fundamental for diagnosis and treatment; however, some parents do not provide consent for their children to undergo the procedure, which can make diagnosis and determination of the optimal treatment difficult. The present study aimed to describe the level of knowledge and attitudes toward LP of parents whose children were scheduled to undergo the procedure. Methods A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study of a convenience sample of parents of 84 children aged 2 months to 17 years scheduled for LP at a single academic children's hospital between 2015 and 2017. Parents were administered a written survey and interviewed by a physician other than the person who did the LP. Data on parental level of knowledge and attitudes regarding LP, in addition to reasons for refusal, were collected. The parents of 84 patients scheduled for LP due to various indications were administered a face-to-face survey interview. The survey was used to collect parental demographic data, as well as opinions and knowledge about LP and postinterventional complications. Results The mean age of the 84 patients (57% male and 43% female) was 6.4 ± 5.17 years. Lumbar puncture was planned for the presumptive diagnosis of neurological disease in 45.25% of the patients, central nervous system infection in 45.25%, and acute encephalopathy in 9.5%. Among the parents, 65% (n = 55) had no knowledge or attitude about LP prior to the survey interview. The most common parental concern related to LP was paralysis (25%), followed by infertility (2%), mental retardation (1%), and disease progression (1%). Only 4.7% of the parents did not provide consent for their child to undergo LP. Conclusions We found that most parents had little knowledge about LP, and the most common parental concern was paralysis. Despite this, in our study, only 5% of parents did not consent to LP.