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Cath Battrick, Edward Alan Glasper
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 13, Iss. 6, 25 Mar 2004, pp 328 - 336

This study aimed to elicit the separate views of children, young people and carers after a period in hospital as an inpatient. Questionnaires were administered to 130 children and their families discharged after a period as hospital inpatients in January 2003. Anonymized data were returned from 50 families. Data analysis indicated that there were differences in the way that the three groups perceived the period of admission. Although parental sleeping and other social arrangements were subject to some critical review, the nursing care experienced by families was highly rated. Although arrangements for discharge were deemed satisfactory, 38% of carers had to wait for medicines to arrive on the ward before they could go home. Only six of the young people felt their ward catered for their age group and five indicated poor levels of privacy. None of the young people indicated that they had used the equipped teenagersí room. Attempts to include the voice of the younger child in this study proved unsatisfactory as parents elected to act as proxies in completing the child-specific questionnaires. Child healthcare professionals attempting to involve all service users in determining optimum levels of care need to consider fully the methods of data collection and their applicability for differing age groups of children. Dependence on adult carers to reflect accurately the voice of the child is not fully satisfactory.

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