Relationship of Parent concerns to adequacy of preparation of child for hospitalization
Vineys, Eugenia Ann
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A study was done to investigate the feelings and sources of concern of the significant parent relative to the hospitalization of his child, and to ascertain if any relationship existed between these factors and the way in which the preparation of the child for hospitalization was affected. The parents of fifty hospitalized children between the ages of two and twelve years were interviewed. Twenty mothers were able to provide adequate preparation for the child according to predetermined criteria which included: (1) the accuracy of the information given to the child by the parents, (2) the opportunity for the child to communicate his feelings to the parents regarding his hospitalization. The characteristic mother in this group was Anglo, thirty-one years of age, and had a high school education. The mean age of the child receiving adequate preparation was 7.4 years. The adequacy of preparation was not appreciably affected by the amount of time available to prepare the child. Professional assistance appeared to have little affect on the adequacy of preparation. Of thirty-eight parents receiving professional assistance, eighteen were unable to adequately prepare their child for hospitalization. The main expressed parental concerns centered around the length of the child's hospitalization, the severity of the illness, and the child's response to treatment. The parents who expressed the greatest number of concerns relative to the severity of the child's illness were unable to adequately prepare the child for hospitalization. The main types of professional assistance as perceived by the parents which may have been useful included: (1) an explanation of the child's course of treatment, (2) additional information about the cause of the illness and the preparation of the child for hospitalization, (3) the Doctors should allow more time for the parents to ask questions. The parents who were unable to provide adequate preparation offered twice as many suggestions as to the type of professional assistance they felt useful as compared with the parents who were able to provide adequate preparation.