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Pediatr Nurs. 1997 Jul-Aug;23(4):361-7.

Parents' experience of hospitalization: different strategies for feeling secure.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Twenty parents of boys (ages 2-14 years) hospitalized for hypospadias repair in a pediatric surgery department in Sweden, were interviewed concerning their experience when their child was hospitalized. A qualitative analysis of the interviews indicated that the most important issue to the parents was finding security at the hospital. Parents manifested one of three different strategies that enabled them to feel secure at the hospital; (a) relinquishing the care of their children to the nursing staff; (b) obtaining a measure of control over their children's care; and (c) relying on knowing their child best. The parental strategy adopted to feel secure was found to correspond with the way parents experienced the hospitalization. Differences were found in their children's experiences of pain and the alleviation of the pain during the hospitalization.

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