Open Access Research article

Impact on parents of bronchiolitis hospitalization of full-term, preterm and congenital heart disease infants

Alexandre Lapillonne12, Antoine Regnault34*, Véronique Gournay5, Jean-Bernard Gouyon6, Hélène Gilet3, Daniela Anghelescu7, Tatiana Miloradovich7, Benoit Arnould3 and Guy Moriette89

Author Affiliations

1 Université Paris Descartes, Paris, 75006, France

2 APHP Necker Hospital, Paris, 75015, France

3 MAPI Consultancy, Lyon, 69003, France

4 EA4275 SPHERE Biostatistique, Pharmacoépidémiologie et Mesures Subjectives en Santé, Université de Nantes, Nantes, 44035, France

5 Service de cardiologie pédiatrique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Nantes, 44093, France

6 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de la Réunion, Groupe Hospitalier Sud Réunion, Centre d'Etudes Périnatales de l'Océan Indien, Saint-Pierre, 97448, La Réunion

7 Medical Department, Abbott France, Rungis, 94528, France

8 Service de Médecine Néonatale de Port-Royal, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin, AP-HP, Paris, 75014, France

9 Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, 75006, France

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BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:171  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-171

Published: 31 October 2012



The objective of this work was to explore the impact on parents of the bronchiolitis hospitalization of their infant using the Impact of Bronchiolitis Hospitalization Questionnaire (IBHQ©).


Four hundred sixty-three infants aged less than 1 year and hospitalized for bronchiolitis were included in a French observational study during the 2008–2009 season. Parents were asked to complete the IBHQ at hospital discharge and 3 months later. IBHQ scores, ranging from 0 (no impact) to 100 (highest impact), were compared according to gestational age (full-term, 33–36 wGA, ≤ 32 wGA) and the presence of congenital heart disease (CHD). The potential drivers of impact were explored using multivariate linear regressions.


The study included 332 full-terms, 71 infants born at 33–36 wGA, and 60 at ≤ 32 wGA; 28 infants had a CHD. At hospital discharge, 9 of the 12 IBHQ mean scores were above 40, indicating a marked impact on parents. Three months later, all mean scores were lower but 5 were still greater than 40. At discharge, the length of hospitalization had a significant effect on IBHQ worries and distress, fear for future, guilt and impact on daily organization scores (p<0.01); the parents’ educational level had a significant effect on IBHQ worries and distress, fear for future, impact on daily organization and financial impact scores (p<0.05). The only statistically significant difference found between the parents of preterm and full-term infants was for the physical impact score at discharge (p=0.004).


Bronchiolitis hospitalization has conspicuous emotional, physical and organizational consequences on parents and siblings, which persist 3 months after hospital discharge. The main drivers of the impact were length of hospital stay and parents’ educational level, while infants’ gestational age or the presence of a CHD had little influence.

Bronchiolitis; Family; Infant care; Hospitalization