Involving children in identifying their pre-operative information needs: an innovative approach.

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    Background: It is argued that in order to identify the needs of children pre-operatively it is appropriate to ask the children themselves (Coyne 1998), and it can be demonstrated that children are competent and reliable sources of information (Alderson 1993). There is persuasive evidence that the preadmission education of children reduces anxiety and leads to faster recovery and less psychological trauma post-discharge(Lynch 1194, Strachan 1993, Ellerton & Merriam 1994). Present education comprises pre-admission clinics, tours, videos and written literature designed by health care professionals. Unfortunately this information may not be developmentaly appropriate. It is also of concern to acknowledge that many children not able to attend clinics often rely on parental knowledge or outdated written literature (Manworren and Wooding 1998). Objectives: To establish the information needs of children prior to being admitted for planned surgery. To enable children to participate in, and contribute to, establishing child-focussed pre-admisison information. Pilot Sample: Fifteen children seven to eleven years old of both sexes chosen through purposive sampling, to be admitted to a regional childrens hospital for planned suregrey on their first inpatient stay. Method: Sessions occur in the child’s home several weeks prior to admission. The child is asked to write or draw “anything you would like to know about before going into hospital”. The child is asked to discuss the drawings or text to allow clarification of meanings, thus ensuring the ‘true’ opinions of the child are not misinterpreted by the researcher. Analysis: Analysis is by the use of framework analysis (ritchie & Lewis 2003). The drawing and text is taken at face value and not analysed projectively (Bradding & Horstman 1999). Preliminary Results: Themes identified for further exploration include:- A genuine need for increased information preoperatively. Concern that health care professionals will withold information from them. Children are able to clearly idenfify their own concerns and questions, which do not necessarily mirror those of health care professionals. Information from the pilot study will be used to create child-friendly leaflets to distribute preoperatively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Duration: 21 Mar 200424 Mar 2004


    ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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