Original Research

Impact of the Choosing Wisely® Campaign Recommendations for Hospitalized Children on Clinical Practice: Trends from 2008 to 2017

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Choosing Wisely® Campaign (CWC) was launched in 2012. Five recommendations to reduce the use of “low-value” services in hospitalized children were published in 2013.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to estimate the frequency and trends of utilization of these services in tertiary children’s hospitals five years before and after the publication of the recommendations.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, longitudinal analysis of hospitalizations to 36 children’s hospitals from 2008 to 2017. The “low-value” services included (1) chest radiograph (CXR) for asthma, (2) CXR for bronchiolitis, (3) relievers for bronchiolitis, (4) systemic steroids for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), and (5) acid suppressor therapy for uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux (GER). We estimated the annual percentages of the use of these services after risk adjustment, followed by an interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to compare trends before and after the publication of the recommendations.
RESULTS: The absolute decreases in utilization were 36.6% in relievers and 31.5% in CXR for bronchiolitis, 24.1% in acid suppressors for GER, 20.8% in CXR for asthma, and 2.9% in steroids for LRTI. Trend analysis showed that one “low-value” service declined significantly immediately (use of CXR for asthma), and another decreased significantly over time (relievers for bronchiolitis) after the CWC.
CONCLUSIONS: There was some decrease in the utilization of “low-value” services from 2008 to 2017. Limited changes in trends occurred after the publication of the recommendations. These findings suggest a limited impact of the CWC on clinical practice in these areas. Additional interventions are required for a more effective dissemination of the CWC recommendations for hospitalized children.

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