TITLE

Parents' Needs for Information about the Management of their Chronically Ill Children

AUTHOR(S)
Diamantopoulou, Eriphily
PUB. DATE
July 2009
SOURCE
Nosileftiki;Jul2009, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p317
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Provision of appropriate information is a prerequisite for effective partnership between child patients, their parents and health professionals. Aim. The study aimed to explore the complexity of parental needs for information and the problems that arise in their confrontation of the chronic illness of their child. Method. Qualitative methodology was employed, using semi-structured interviews with 9 parents of chronically ill children, recruited at the paediatric department of a general hospital in Thessaloniki. Results. The need for information varied widely between parents and over time, and commonly involved the diagnosis, the management plan, and prognosis. In the experience of most of the parents, professional communication and information provision was inadequate for their needs. Information provision appeared to be related to the diagnosis, the secondary care involvement and the extent to which parents were required to take responsibility for the daily management of their child's condition. The complex and shifting evaluations and responses of the parents indicate the importance of the provision of information. Some parents sought information, but also resisted information, for fear of its potentially negative impact, and this was noted to be a common coping strategy. Conclusions. Parents of chronically ill children present a great variety of information needs, which are not always appreciated by health care professionals. The necessity was demonstrated for an interdisciplinary scientific team to support children with chronic illness and their parents and to cover holistically all their changing information needs. The importance is emphasized of individualizing information provision to suit parents' needs, in order to address their requirements but not to increase unnecessarily their anxiety or insecurity.
ACCESSION #
47690651

 

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