Parental involvement is an essential element of quality of care for children in hospital. However, there is often confusion in role perception between parents and nurses which may be affected by nurses' attitudes, their ability to provide information, their communication and interpersonal skills and willingness to relinquish control.
Aim: This study examined nurses' perceptions of parental involvement and communication with parents of children in hospital and explored differences in perceptions of recent graduate nurses and more experienced nurses.
Method: Two focus groups were carried out at a university paediatric hospital in Sweden, one with experienced paediatric nurses (n = 7) and one with recent nursing graduates (n = 6).
Findings: Analysis of the discussions identified five themes: clarifying roles, information, work environment, support and clinical competence. These nurses confirmed the belief that involving parents in the child's care is an important part of nursing in paediatric care and suggested that the nurses should play the role of being the communicator with the parents.
Conclusion: Nurses need to be aware of the impact their communication has on parents and help them to clarify their role as parents in hospital.