Eosinophilic esophagitis is an increasingly common inflammatory disease of the esophagus. Diagnosis and management are based on the histological presence of eosinophils in the esophageal mucosa, often requiring multiple endoscopies with sedation. Unsedated transnasal endoscopy (TNE), an alternative method of assessing the mucosa without the risks of sedation, is now being performed in the pediatric population. This is the first qualitative study on pediatric patients’ and parents’ experiences with TNE.
The objective of the study was to describe pediatric patients’ and parents’ experiences of TNE with the goal of refining TNE protocols to improve the clinical experience.
We used a qualitative descriptive approach that included in-depth, semistructured interviews with patients and parents following completion of TNE. Interviews continued until we reached thematic saturation. We analyzed data using qualitative content analysis.
A total of 21 interviews were completed. We identified 4 themes: Appeal of TNE; Expectations and Preparation for TNE; Tolerance of TNE; and Evaluation of TNE. Perceived positive aspects of TNE were no exposure to intravenous anesthesia; helpful and clear preparation for the procedure with a demonstration video and physician phone call; distraction during TNE with virtual reality goggles and a stress ball; parent able to accompany the patient; and TNE requiring less time than an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Negative aspects included patient stress before TNE, patient dislike of nasal spray taste and sensation, and discomfort during the TNE procedure.
The overall perception of TNE among our participants was positive. Study data will allow pediatric gastroenterologists the opportunity to improve both preparation for and comfort during TNE.