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J Pediatr Psychol. 2008 Apr;33(3):292-7. Epub 2007 Sep 28.

Practices and provisions for parents sleeping overnight with a hospitalized child.

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Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1P8, Canada.



To describe practices affecting parents' overnight stays, provisions for parents sleeping overnight and parents' involvement in overnight care of their hospitalized child.


A cross-sectional telephone survey of Canadian and American hospitals with more or equal to 50 acute pediatric beds and more or equal to two pediatric wards was conducted.


Surveys were completed by 135 hospitals (77% response rate). All general pediatric units allowed parents to sleep at the bedside overnight; higher acuity units limited parental stays. The majority of hospitals limited overnight visitors at the bedside to one parent, and few hospitals routinely allowed siblings to sleep overnight. One hundred and thirty-three (99%) hospitals reported parental involvement in their child's care at night, with 52 (39%) stating this was an expectation.


In general, parents are given the opportunity to stay at the bedside overnight, but barriers exist that limit opportunities for sleep during their child's hospitalization, and serve to separate families who have a hospitalized child.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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