Australas Emerg Care 2018 Nov 23;21(4):137-142. Epub 2018 Oct 23.
Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery Sydney, The University of Sydney, 88 Mallet Street Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia; Australian Catholic University & North Western Mental Health, Level 1 North, City Campus, The Royal Melbourne Hospital Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia. Electronic address:
Background: Childhood injury is the largest cause of paediatric hospitalisation in Australia. Parents' psychological wellbeing is important in enabling them to support their children's recovery, however little is known about parents' psychosocial support needs during their child's admission to the emergency department. This study explores the experiences and support needs of parents of critically injured children in the emergency department.
Methods: An exploratory qualitative approach was used. Semi-structured face to face interviews were conducted with 40 parents of 30 critically injured children aged 0-12 years across 4 Australian hospitals. Transcribed data were managed using NVivo 10 and qualitative content analysis was performed.
Results: Four themes of parent experience emerged from analysis: being in shock and distress; feeling challenged by the ed environment; dealing with urgent priorities; and having immediate needs met.
Conclusions: There is a need for easy-to-understand information for parents in the ED following their child's injury. Recommendations include use of a checklist for emergency clinicians on what information to provide parents and provision of anticipatory guidance to parents on what to expect psychologically following injury. A dedicated family support coordinator is needed to support parents and children throughout the injury trajectory.
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