Parents experiences of their child's care during hospitalization

J Cult Divers. Spring 2004;11(1):4-11.


Driven by the institutionalization of healthcare, and the attendant financial and regulatory issues, health caregivers now need to objectively define and assess the quality of care that is delivered to patients. Measures of quality care for children lag behind the measures that are utilized for adults. To date, little is understood about how quality care for children is identified and measured. Pediatric literature acknowledges, but has poorly studied, the relationship between health care providers and parents in providing and evaluating quality care for children. This paper applies qualitative descriptive theory that is informed by grounded theory to explore parents' experiences of the care they received for their hospitalized children. From a convenience sample of six parent participants, this study finds that parents experience childcare in a hospitalized setting in terms of four interconnecting, circular processes: (a) facing boundaries, (b) attempting to understand, (c) coping with uncertainty and (d) seeking reassurance from caregivers. The experiences shared by the parent participants in this study convey new meaning to the interactional nature of the parent-caregiver relationship. In particular, the researcher finds that parents use the parent-caregiver relationship to help cope with their child's condition, and this in turn influences the parents' sense that their and their child's needs are being met.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Illness* / nursing
  • Critical Illness* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological* / nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uncertainty
  • United States