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Nurses responded on an ad hoc basis to the unpredictable needs of parents of children in hospital

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 Question What are the perceptions of parents and nurses about the needs of parents who participate in the care of their children in hospital?

Design

Qualitative study.

Setting

UK.

Participants

English speaking parents of 24 children who were admitted to a children's hospital for >24 hours, had undergone surgery, were not terminally ill, and were under the care of 1 surgeon; and 12 members of the ward staff (10 nurses, 1 health care assistant, and 1 surgeon) who cared for the children in the study.

Methods

Conversational style interviews with the parents were conducted in the home a few weeks after the children were discharged from hospital. Approximately 125 hours of participant observation were completed during nursing shift handovers, and nursing and medical records were reviewed. Conversational style interviews with the ward staff addressed topics and cases observed during shift handovers as well as topics raised by the participants. Data collection and analysis proceeded concurrently. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed, and data …

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