The natural history of common
RTIs has, until recently, been poorly researched. As a consequence,
parents often have unrealistic expectations about how quickly their
children will recover, and these can lead to unnecessary anxiety and
re-consultation. In addition, GPs rarely set realistic expectations and
sometimes suggest that children will get better ‘in a few days’, when we
now know that it often takes much longer than this to recover.
research has provided us with valuable information on expected
duration, and we have attempted to summarise this in easy-to-read
There are four charts in the booklet, one for each of cough, cold, sore throat, and ear ache.
piloting, most, but not all parents have found these charts easy to
understand. Please make sure that you explain the chart clearly and
check the parents understanding of it.
The following video clip demonstrates using the booklet to discuss natural history.