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J Adv Nurs. 2006 Mar;53(5):534-42.

Hospital staff perceptions of parental involvement in paediatric hospital care.

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Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



This paper reports a study of hospital staff perceptions of parental involvement in children's hospital care.


Previous research has shown that parents are expected and encouraged by hospital staff to be actively involved in the care of their hospitalized children. At the same time, parents have expressed a need for improved communication with paediatric hospital staff to clarify both parental and staff expectations and preferences about this involvement. Few studies, however, have studied hospital staff perceptions of parental involvement in the care of hospitalized children and their implications for clinical work.


A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among paediatric hospital staff in October of 2003. Questionnaires were distributed to a total of 338 staff, including all physicians, Registered Nurses and nursing auxiliaries working on oncology, surgery and neurology units in three university children's hospitals in Sweden.


A total of 207 questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 61%. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the 26-item questionnaire resulted in the creation of two indices, Work Routines and Work Strain. Oncology staff reported having better work routines for involving parents in their children's care and they experienced less strain from parental demands compared with staff on other paediatric units. Staff perceptions and workplace routines regarding parental involvement did not differ statistically significantly by profession or by length of work experience.


Staff perceptions of parental involvement may be related to clinical specialty. Oncology units may find it easier to establish routines for parental involvement, thereby experiencing less work strain in their interactions with parents. There is a need to further study staff perceptions of parental involvement and their implications for the staff work situation in both Sweden and other countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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