ResQ Family: Impact of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Hospitalisation on Quality of Life of Families – A Multi-Country Study


The 2022/23 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season has now drawn to an end, but the next wave of this contagious virus will not be long in coming. Therefore, it is crucial to give parents a voice in these difficult times revealing the burden and challenges as well as unmet needs when family life suddenly changes with an infant’s hospitalisation for RSV. With the ResQ Family study, we try to do so by comprehensively investigating the experience of caregivers of children hospitalised for RSV by applying a participatory research approach.

To learn more about the background and methods of the study, we are excited to announce that we have now successfully published a study protocol which provides the scientific basis of the project. It defines the study design and objectives, describes the involvement of relevant stakeholders such as affected parents but also healthcare professionals and researchers experienced with RSV and explains the recruitment of the study population. For further information, please click on the button below!


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a very contagious virus. It is the most common cause of paediatric bronchiolitis and pneumonia – which are both a type of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). By the age of two years nearly all children will be infected with RSV at least once. Globally, it is a leading cause of hospitalisations among young infants with approximately 33 million cases of acute lower respiratory infections causing more than three million hospitalisations each year in children younger than 5 years. While most RSV cases are mild, we cannot predict which infants could get seriously ill and end up in hospital. This is because the course of the disease is unpredictable. When the RSV infection is severe and associated with hospitalisation, it may lead to intensive care unit admissions with use of supportive care such as mechanical ventilation. It may further result in long-term complications such as recurrent wheezing, reduced pulmonary function and asthma. Moreover, RSV-related hospitalisations can be associated with a significant burden on the entire family, leading to considerable stress and increased loss of work productivity.

Aim of the ResQ Family project

Until today, there is only little information available on how severe RSV infection leading to hospitalisation of the infant impacts the quality of life of affected families. For the ResQ Family project, an online questionnaire will be used to survey parents or caregivers of children up to 24 months currently or recently hospitalised (length of hospital stay of at least 12 hours and hospital admission no longer than 4 weeks ago) due to RSV infection.

The aim of the ResQ Family project is to find out how infant RSV hospitalisation impacts the quality of life of affected children and their families. The goal is further to provide scientific evidence on the burden of RSV and raise awareness among all relevant stakeholders including healthcare professionals and patient representatives, decision-makers and the general public. The project will run until June 2024. Data collection will take place during the RSV season from fall 2022 to spring 2023 in four European countries: France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.

EFCNI Project Team:

Dr Christina Tischer Head of Scientific Affairs and Research

Ilona Trautmannsberger Junior Project Manager

Catherina Witte Senior Communications Manager

Ina Adamek Junior Communications Manager

Laura Staudt Graphic Designer

Dr Johanna Kostenzer Former Head of Scientific Affairs

Prof Luc Zimmermann Senior Medical Director

Silke Mader Chairwoman of the Executive Board

The team of EFCNI is leading the ResQ Family project. It will be conducted in close collaboration with renowned international experts, scientific advisors and parent representatives. International and local partners in the respective countries support the project. For further information, please contact:

External Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) members:

Prof Christian Apfelbacher Institute of Social Medicine and Health Systems Research (ISMHSR), Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

Dr Philippe Beutels Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Dr Brigitte Essers Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands

Prof Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

Project Expert Group (PEG) members:

Prof Kajsa Bohlin Department of Neonatology, Karolinska University Hospital/ Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Prof Louis Bont Department of General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Prof Daniele de Luca Division of Pediatrics and Neonatal Critical Care, A. Béclère Medical Center, Paris Saclay University Hospitals, APHP, Paris, France

Katarina Eglin Bundesverband “Das frühgeborene Kind” e.V. (BVDfK), Frankfurt (Main), Germany

Prof Susanna Esposito Paediatric Clinic, Pietro Barilla Children’s Hospital, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Prof Fabio Midulla Department of Maternal Infantile and Urological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Prof Raffaella Nenna Department of Maternal Infantile and Urological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Dr Barbara Plagg Institute of General Practice and Public Health, Provincial College for Health Professions Claudiana, Bolzano, Italy

Audrey Reynaud SOS Préma, Boulogne Billancourt, France

Karl Rombo Riksförbundet Svenska Prematurförbundet, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr Sven-Arne Silfverdal Department of Clinical Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Prof Catherine Weil-Olivier Pediatrics, University of Paris, 7 Denis Diderot, Paris, France

Prof Sven Wellmann Clinic for Paediatric and Young Adult Medicine, Klinik St. Hedwig Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

Dr Martin Wetzke Clinic for Pediatric Pneumology, Allergology and Neonatology, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Hannover, Germany

On 28 April 2022, EFCNI hosted the first digital RSV expert roundtable of the new research project “ResQ Family”. A team of key experts in RSV and quality of life research, including researchers, neonatologists, paediatricians and parent representatives met online for the first time to discuss the project and study design. The results of this expert exchange will feed into an online questionnaire which will be used to survey caregivers of affected infants up to 2 years of age. Our sincere thanks go to all experts for their valuable contributions.

PARENT BOOKLET “RSV – WHY ALL PARENTS OF INFANTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS!” It is important for parents to be informed about all aspects of their child’s health and well-being, but also about potential risks and effective preventive measures to protect their child. On that account, we have – together with experts in the field of neonatology and paediatrics, RSV and infectious diseases – created this parent booklet which provides specific and understandable information on the important yet sometimes underrecognised topic: “RSV – Why all parents of infants should be aware of Respiratory Syncytial Virus” . The booklet summarises what you as parents should know about RSV to help you take the right measures for your baby’s health: It provides you with easy-to-understand information about RSV and its symptoms, illustrated with helpful infographics. Valuable first-hand advice from parents and doctors shows how to recognise an infection and what you as parents can do yourself to protect your child from RSV. Download your booklet copy here and enjoy reading!

RSV INFOGRAPHICS Here you will find simply illustrated information on facts and questions about RSV:

  • What you should know about RSV
  • What are the signs and symptoms of RSV in infants?
  • Five steps to protect your baby from RSV disease
  • What to consider after an RSV infection

Please feel free to download and share these infographics to educate and create awareness of this still underrecognised disease that can affect all infants.

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[2] Díez-Gandía E et al. The impact of childhood RSV infection on children’s and parents’ quality of life: a prospective multicenter study in Spain. BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 6;21(1):924. doi:

[3] Lapillonne A et al. Impact on parents of bronchiolitis hospitalization of full-term, preterm and congenital heart disease infants. BMC Pediatr 12, 171 (2012). doi:

[4] Leidy NK et al. The impact of severe respiratory syncytial virus on the child, caregiver, and family during hospitalization and recovery. Pediatrics. 2005 Jun;115(6):1536-46. doi:

[5] Li Y et al. Global, regional, and national disease burden estimates of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in children younger than 5 years in 2019: a systematic analysis. Lancet. 2022 May 28;399(10340):2047-2064. doi:

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[7] Mazur NI et al. Respiratory syncytial virus trials and beyond. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Dec;15(12):1363-5. doi:

[8] Rha B et al. Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Hospitalizations Among Young Children: 2015-2016. Pediatrics. 2020 Jul;146(1):e20193611. doi:

[9] Shi T et al. RSV Global Epidemiology Network. Global, regional, and national disease burden estimates of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in young children in 2015: a systematic review and modelling study. Lancet. 2017 Sep 2;390(10098):946-958. doi:

[10] Varni JW et al. The PedsQL Family Impact Module: preliminary reliability and validity. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2004 Sep 27;2:55. doi:

[11] Wang X et al. Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Hospital Admissions and Bed Days in Children <5 Years of Age in 7 European Countries. The Journal of infectious diseases. 2022. doi:

[12] Zhang S et al. Cost of Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Acute Lower Respiratory Infection Management in Young Children at the Regional and Global Level: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal of infectious diseases. 2020. doi:

Transparency: EFCNI received a research grant from Sanofi in support of this independent study.

In collaboration with:

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