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Table 3 Patterns of healthcare services utilization for technology-dependent children and their caregivers

From: Looking into the life of technology-dependent children and their caregivers in Korea: lifting the burden of too many responsibilities

Variables Responses n (%) or
mean ± SD
Healthcare use within recent 6 months (days) a All hospital days combined 41.3 ± 45.6
Number of days visiting OPD 18.2 ± 30.0
Length of stay in the general ward 17.0 ± 30.3
Length of stay in the intensive care unit 5.1 ± 20.6
Number of days visiting ED 1.5 ± 1.5
Transportationb Private car or private ambulance 57 (78.1)
Public transport (bus, subway, train, etc.) 14 (19.2)
Public transportation support 10 (13.7)
Travel time (from home to hospital) < 1 h 18 (24.3)
≥1 h, < 3 h 36 (48.6)
≥3 h 20 (27.0)
Outpatient waiting time in the hospital < 30 min 12 (16.2)
≥30 min, < 1 h 27 (36.5)
≥1 h, < 2 h 23 (31.1)
≥2 h 12 (16.2)
Outpatient consultation time in the hospital (physician encounter time) <  5 min 29 (39.2)
≥ 5 min, <  10 min 32 (43.2)
≥10 min, <  15 min 10 (13.5)
≥15 min 3 (4.1)
Rehabilitation (within recent 3 months) Both (at hospital and home) 22 (29.7)
At hospital 19 (25.7)
At home 4 (5.4)
None 29 (39.2)
How to get medical adviceb Ask acquaintance or self-help group 55 (76.4)
Contact hospital or medical staff 43 (59.7)
Search Internet 36 (50.0)
Search professional books 5 (6.9)
Ways to contact the hospitalb (when the caregiver needs medical advice at home, within the last year) Wait until planned OPD visit or admission 27 (36.5)
Never have asked to any hospital related staff 26 (35.1)
Call to the ward where child was previously hospitalized 22 (29.7)
Call to a pediatric ED 7 (9.5)
Call to a palliative care team (if applicable) 6 (8.1)
Others c 3 (4.1)
  1. SD standard deviation, OPD outpatient department, ED emergency department
  2. a Of the 74 participants, seven responses were excluded, leaving a total of 67 responses for healthcare use analysis. Reasons for exclusion included 2 missing values and 5 responses exceeding 180-day within 6 months
  3. b There were multiple responses
  4. c “Others” included someone who is a doctor, a pharmacist, or a physical therapist