A qualitative study of parental preferences for postcircumcision care education

Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi*, Alexander G.S. Anderson, Erin Gubbins, Ebony PagePhillips, Max Maizels, Karla T. Washington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introductionr/Background: Although uncommon, complications associated with newborn male circumcision may require costly and emotionally upsetting surgical revisions. Improvements in parental education regarding postcircumcision care may reduce preventable complications; however, little is known about parents' preferences for education of this type. Objective: The authors sought to describe parents' preferences regarding the content and delivery of education on postcircumcision care as a first step toward improving parental education and ultimately reducing the need for surgical revisions. Study design: The authors conducted a qualitative, descriptive study, collecting data from 14 parents during two separate focus group discussions. The authors applied thematic analysis techniques to analyze the transcribed content of both groups. Results: Parents indicated that postcircumcision care instructions should be detailed and include clear images and/or an actual demonstration of care processes. Despite being aware of the low likelihood of complications, parents expressed a preference for providers who took education seriously rather than those approaching it with a ‘cavalier attitude.’ There was widespread support for delivering education at a time that met each family's unique circumstances and needs. Discussion: Consistent with prior research, parents in this study identified gaps in understanding postprocedure care instructions. However, this study adds to the literature in highlighting the specific concerns and preferences of parents with regard to the content and delivery of postcircumcision care education. Based on these findings, the authors conclude that healthcare teams should ensure that parents have access to detailed instructions for postcircumcision care. Education of parents should occur at times when they are able to pay attention and should be supplemented with materials that they can easily access from home. Pediatric urologists can play a leading role in the development and dissemination of high-quality, family-centered educational materials to both parents and providers in other specialty areas that perform high volumes of newborn circumcision. Future research would benefit from larger, more diverse samples. In addition, future studies investigating the effect of parental education on potentially avoidable complications are needed to maximize clinical impact. Conclusion: Parents readily provided detailed input into what they perceived as much-needed improvements in postcircumcision care education. Future research is needed to determine what effect, if any, such changes would have on the incidence of preventable complications, particularly those requiring surgical intervention.[Formula presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46.e1-46.e6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Circumcision
  • Male
  • Newborn
  • Patient education
  • Pediatric
  • Urology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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