Higher Education | Medicine and Health Sciences
Background: Children are growing up in an increasingly digital world. As mobile devices and digital screens become more accessible, greater attention is being paid to screen media use and its effect on pediatric development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released recommended screen time limits for children of various ages and emphasize the importance of high-quality screen media when used. In 2016, the AAP released the Family Media Plan: an online tool developed for families to create personalized strategies to manage screen media use.
Objective: While a useful tool, the AAP’s Family Media Plan does not lend itself to use by pediatricians in the clinical setting. The aim of this quality improvement (QI) project is to determine whether screen media use can be reduced in the pediatric population through patient counseling and use of a take-home goal sheet, adapted from the AAP’s Family Media Plan.
Methods: Thirty-eight children, ages 6 to 13, agreed to participate in this study. Pre-intervention hours of screen media use per week was collected. The Media Use Plan, a summarized, print version of the AAP’s Family Media Plan, was developed and distributed to study participants’ families to be used in their homes. One month later, families were contacted to complete a post-intervention telephone interview.
Results: Of the 38 patients that consented to participating in the study, 35 completed both pre- and post-intervention surveys. The median screen time per week decreased from 16 hours to 12 hours after pediatrician counseling and Media Use Plan intervention.
Conclusion: Our data suggests that engaging patients in goal-oriented discussions and use of the Media Use Plan was effective in reducing screen time per week. Future iterations of this study may explore demographic effects and the sustainability of these results beyond the one-month period.
media use, children, pediatric, screen time, behavior, counseling, quality improvement
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Kratochvil, T., Wineinger, M., Saner, D., , Fernandez, C. Screen Media Use in Pediatrics: A QI Project to Promote Behavioral Change. Graduate Medical Education Research Journal. 2020 Sep 29; 2(1).