Perspectives of Hospitalized Children and Parents on the Quality of the Children’s Nursing Care
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2014
Three million children are hospitalized annually, yet large-scale research is sparse on children’s perceptions of their hospital experiences. Parents routinely receive and complete post-discharge “patient” satisfaction questionnaires. Yet, research shows that children’s and parents’ perceptions of children’s emotions and experiences are often dissimilar. Purpose: 1) Identify characteristics of nursing care that are most important to hospitalized children; 2) Compare hospitalized children’s and parents’ perspectives on quality of nursing care and children’s current quality of life. Subjects: The sample included 496 children, ages 6 to 21, in a 400-bed children’s hospital (73% white, 20.29% black). Methods: A cross-sectional research design involved individual interviews with children about what they liked and disliked about their nursing care, and responses to the 6-item Pediatric Quality of Life-Present Functioning (PEDS-QL-PF) Scale. Independently, parents answered the same questions as they believed their children would respond. Findings: Parents consistently underestimated what their children would say about their nurses. Children reported 10 nurse behaviors more often than parents: checks on me often, talks and listens to me, gives me medication, gives me things to do, responsive to my needs, brings me food or drinks, helps me do things, plays with me, laughs and jokes with me, and gives me respect and privacy (all p<0.05). Children reported 3 of 7 nurse behaviors that they disliked more frequently than parents including uncomfortable procedures, painful experiences, and wakes me up (all p<0.001). Parents mentioned no nurse behaviors significantly more often than their children. Fewer children than their parents reported experiencing six PEDS-QL-PF items: afraid, sad, angry, worried, tired, and pain (all p<0.001). Implications: Children and parents disagreed on the importance of 10 of 14 nurse behaviors that children said they liked and 3 of 7 nurse behaviors that they disliked. Parents consistently overestimated their children’s current symptoms and emotions. Nursing assessments that include quality of care and current quality of life from the children’s perspectives will greatly enhance the children’s hospital experiences.
Academic Major: Nursing
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