Parents' perceptions of their child's emotional illness and psychiatric treatment needs

J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 1996 Oct-Dec;9(4):15-24; quiz 25-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.1996.tb00269.x.


Problem: The purpose of this study was to describe how parents define their child's emotional illness and psychiatric treatment needs.

Subjects: The sample consisted of 19 parents and one grandparent (N = 20) who had recently admitted their child to a short-term psychiatric unit.

Methods: Qualitative methods, utilizing a semistructured interview. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Substantive codes were combined to derive the key concepts and themes in the interviews.

Findings: The findings of this study center on themes related to parents' efforts to control the current behavioral crisis, treatment acceptability, family needs, explanatory formulations, and securing the child's future.

Conclusions: Implications for treatment include how nurses might tap into parents' perceptions to facilitate parent' professional communication.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires