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Abstract

The study was designed to determine if the concerns of 2- to 5-year-old children hospitalized for chronic illness differ from the concerns of other children. Interviews were conducted with 32 short-stay chronically ill, 10 long-stay chronically ill, 20 acutely ill, and 20 healthy children. Narrative recordings were analyzed using a categorical system of 10 developmental and hospital-related concerns. Differences between groups in mean proportion of concerns expressed were examined for each interview using analysis of variance techniques. The major concerns expressed by each group on all interviews were Autonomy and Exploration and, in the chronically ill children, Intrusion. Increased age was associated with increased expression of Intrusion in all groups except the long-stay chronic illness group.