All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Frank A Franklin

Advisory Committee Members

Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi

Crayton Fargason

Meredith Kilgore

Russell Kirby

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2009

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) School of Public Health

Abstract

Ventriculo-peritoneal shunts continue to be the standard surgical procedure for treating children diagnosed with hydrocephalus, regardless of etiology. The failure of these shunts can cause acute medical problems for the child requiring immediate medical care. It is known that hydrocephalus directly impacts a child's health status, educational abilities, developmental opportunities and emotional well being. An important gap in the current literature is the examination in a homogenous patient population of the impact of sociodemographic factors on the management of shunt failure and the economic burden on the family. The objective of this dissertation research study was to better understand shunt failure among the children with hydrocephalus initially diagnosed, treated and managed at a pediatric acute care facility. With this study we determined the two-year shunt survival rate, and examined the sociodemographic factors that affect time to medical evaluation after the initial onset of shunt failure symptoms. Additionally this study examined the economic impact of a shunt failure episode on the families caring for a child with hydrocephalus.

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