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Results of the Survey Estimating Need for Family Resources at the Neurocritical Care Society Annual Meeting

By Currents Editor posted 08-21-2019 10:09


ElissaFory_New.jpgGreenChandosDiana.jpgBy Elissa Fory, MD (left), and Diana Greene-Chandos, MD (right)

In March 2019, the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) presented a survey to its membership regarding the need for various family resources at its Annual Meeting. The survey was written as an initiative of the Women in Neurocritical Care (WINCC) Section to assess our membership’s potential utilization of family resources, if they were offered, at the Annual Meeting. It was emailed to all NCS members. A link led to the survey, which could only be completed once per member. No identifying information was collected. 

There were 108 total respondents, although individual questions had a variable number of responses. Percentages in this summary will be based on the percentage of persons who answered each individual question, not based on the total respondents.  

Eighty-three respondents (77%) indicated they will have children under the age of 16 years in fall 2019. The respondents were 71% women, 27% men and 2% preferred not to answer.  

Respondents with children under the age of 16 years were asked which resources they would be interested in using, or likely to use, at the 2019 Annual Meeting. The results are summarized in Table 1. Of the respondents with children less than 16 years old, 79% (n=60) were interested in or likely to use on-site, drop-off, group childcare. Private-hire babysitting services were desired by 33% of respondents (n=25). Twenty-one respondents (28%) had interest in an infant/parents’ room – a room adjacent to the main ballrooms, for parents to personally sit in with their infants while remotely watching the main session. Use of a lactation room was desired by 13 respondents (17%). 

The 60 respondents who indicated they were interested in on-site childcare for 2019 had a total of 104 children. The ages of the children were between zero (for pregnancy or less than 1 year of age) and 15 years, with the majority being less than 7 years old (Chart 1). 

All respondents (even those without children under the age of 16) were able to answer questions regarding their use of these resources at meetings in 2020 and beyond. Our intent was to therefore capture responses of members who are not currently parents but are anticipating having children. The results are shown in Chart 1. Overall, our members had similar interests in family resources for 2020 as for 2019. 

Respondents were asked if in the past they had been unable to attend a professional meeting due to lack of, or difficulty with, childcare. Ninety-nine respondents answered the question, and 61 indicated they had missed meetings due to childcare difficulties. For most, this occurred for one to three years. The number of years this occurred is outlined in chart 2.  Interestingly, the percentage of survey respondents who had missed meetings due to childcare was slightly higher among the men respondents than the women respondents (69% versus 61%), although the absolute numbers of both women respondents and women who had missed meetings were higher. 

Some of our members had experience with using on-site childcare at other academic meetings. Four respondents had been to a meeting with on-site childcare, used the childcare and found it useful. Twenty other respondents had been to a meeting with childcare but did not use it because they either did not have minor children or because they made other arrangements for their children. No one answered that they had used on-site childcare at an academic meeting and that it did not work well. Seventy-four members indicated they had never been to a meeting with on-site childcare. 

These survey results are not scientific, but do provide information that is helpful in planning for family resources for the Annual Meeting. Limitations to these results include that only current NCS members were surveyed, that a small percentage of NCS members completed the survey, that interest on a survey may not translate into enrollment in a program, and that couples who are both NCS members were each able to answer the survey (potentially double-counting some children). 

Table 1: Summary Interest in Using Potential Family-Oriented Resources for the NCS Annual Meeting


Year 2019

Year 2020+

Total Respondents to the Question



Lactation Room

N=13 (17%)

N=25 (25%)

Infant Room

N=21 (21%)

N=30 (30%)

Private-Hire Babysitter

N=25 (33%)

N=34 (34%)

On-Site Childcare

N=60 (104 kids) (79%)

N=73 (74%)

Meals w childcare

N=41 (54%)

N=54 (55%)


N=10 (13%)

N=20 (20%)


Chart 1:  Ages of children whose parents indicated interest in on-site childcare at the NCS Annual Meeting in 2019


Chart 2:  The number of years professional meetings were missed due to lack of childcare


Chart 3: Survey Respondents’ Experiences with On-site Childcare at other Academic Meetings

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