How much stock should otolaryngologists put into the parental interpretations of their child’s complaints? According to Ellen M. Friedman, MD, an otolaryngologist in Houston, parental descriptions are an important part of patient histories, but you still need to perform objective measures.
Explore this issue:February 2007
Sometimes parents give vital information that can lead straight to the diagnosis, while other times they may be way off base, she told ENToday in an interview. Dr. Friedman is Professor of Otolaryngology at Texas Children’s Hospital, and presented a study at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery meeting last September on the topic of parental perceptions of otolaryngologic problems in their children.
In brief, she found that parental perceptions fall into one of three categories: those who underestimate a problem, those who overestimate the severity of a problem, and those who are right on target.