• descriptive qualitative research;
  • paediatric discharge;
  • parent needs

Two linked descriptive qualitative studies, conducted 12 months apart aimed to identify parents' perceptions of discharge information relating to a recent admission of their child to hospital. Study one participants included parents (n = 7) who telephoned a paediatric telephone triage service seeking information about their child's postdischarge care. Study 2 included parents (n = 12) of children admitted to a regional hospital's general paediatric ward. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews conducted with parents following their child's discharge from hospital. These data were analysed using qualitative content analysis separately. The studies were linked in so far as the results from study one informed the modification of the design of study two and its interview protocol. Both studies revealed verbal as well as written information is helpful to parents, plain language usage is important, messages from the health-care team are sometimes inconsistent, and parents need information specific to their particular circumstances.