The information needs of children having clinical procedures in hospital: Will it hurt? Will I feel scared? What can I do to stay calm?


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    Children often have unmet information needs when attending hospital and this can cause them anxiety and uncertainty. If children are prepared and informed about what will happen during a procedure they tend to have a better experience. Finding out what children want to know before they attend hospital for procedures, could provide significant benefits for children, their families and healthcare professionals. This study set out to investigate children’s perspectives of what information is important and valuable to know before attending hospital for a planned procedure.
    A ‘write and tell’ activity sheet underpinned a semi-structured qualitative interview with children attending hospital for a planned procedure. The interview focussed on the information children thought was important to know before a procedure. Data were analysed using content analysis techniques.
    106 children aged between 8 to 12 years old participated in the interviews. The children identified 616 pieces of information they thought would be of value to children attending hospital for procedures. These were inductively coded into three types of information; procedural, sensory and self-regulation. Children want to know detailed procedural and sensory information to actively construct a script of a procedure, and then build on this with information about specific strategies to help them cope with and self-regulate the situation.
    This study has identified three types of information children recognise as important in pre-procedural preparation. Children construct an understanding of a planned procedure through actively scaffolding procedural, sensory and self-regulation information.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
    Early online date4 Jun 2019
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2019


    • children
    • information
    • preparation
    • procedures


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