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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?


Qualitative study.




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.


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 …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For article reprint: Dr Callery, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester, Coupland III Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Fax +44 (0)161 275 5346.