Using the Booklet

Task 4. Discussing natural history

  • 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.
  • Recent research has provided us with valuable information on expected duration, and we have attempted to summarise this in easy-to-read charts.
  • There are four charts in the booklet, one for each of cough, cold, sore throat, and ear ache.
  • In 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.