Objective: Evaluation of a child's intoeing gait is one of the most common referrals made to a pediatric orthopedist. Families may have difficulty understanding the often transient and usually benign nature of intoeing. The purpose of this study was to investigate parental perceptions of an intoeing gait both before and after consultation with an orthopedic practitioner. Methods: 48 parents of children referred to pediatric orthopedic surgeons for evaluation of intoeing gait completed a 22-item questionnaire that assessed demographics, anxiety, and parental perceptions of intoeing. Questionnaires were administered before and after visits. Statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and Fisher exact tests. Results: Before their visits, parents reported similar levels of anxiety and understanding regarding intoeing, independent of their age or education. After the visits, anxiety decreased (P < 0.001), and understanding increased (P < 0.001) although younger parents (18–25 years) reported higher post-visit anxiety compared to parents older than 25 (P = 0.014). Similarly, parents with a high school degree or less reported higher post-visit anxiety compared to parents who attended college (P = 0.009). Post-visit understanding was inversely correlated with post-visit anxiety (r = −0.717; P < 0.001). Additionally, parents who reported high anxiety post-visit stated they were more likely to seek additional care (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Younger parents with lower education levels were more likely to leave visits with high anxiety and poor understanding. These parents were more likely to consider seeking further treatment for their child's intoeing, placing additional stress on their child, themselves and an overburdened healthcare system.
- Parent perception
- Parent understanding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine