Experiences of young people admitted for planned surgery

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    BACKGROUND: Despite national and international guidance, young people requiring hospitalisation are still cared for in inappropriate environments and not always encouraged to participate in decision making processes. Much of the research relating to the inpatient experience of young people was conducted over 25 years ago and does not always consult young people directly, an approach which is emphasised in today's health service and professional policies. AIM: To explore the extent young people are consulted and involved in planing their care and whether they have adequate facilities during an inpatient stay in a regional paediatric hospital. METHOD: Seven young people aged 13 to 16 volunteered to participate out of 33 identified from forthhcoming theatre lists. They kept unstructured diaries during their hospitalisation and these were used to aid discussion in exploratory interviews carried out within two weeks after discharge. RESULTS: Framework analysis of interview data identified issues for the young people relating to their pre-operative knowledge, sources of information, consultation with healthcare professionals and facilities available for them. Where separate facilities for young people did exist, they were used to break from the noisy environment of the children's ward and to access appropriate entertainment. Consent and involvement in decision-making were highlighted in the interviews and although several young people had been involved in the decision-making process, some identified barriers to their effective involvement. CONCLUSION: Although conclusions are limited by the small scale of the study, it is evident that young people's views on their social and psychological needs need to be heard, not just their views on the physical environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-18
    JournalPaediatric nursing
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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