Enhancing parents' confidence to care in acute childhood illness: triangulation of findings from a mixed methods study of Community Children's Nursing

Authors

  • Peter Callery PhD RN,

    Chair in Children's Nursing, Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, UK
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  • Richard G. Kyle PhD,

    Lecturer
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health, University of Stirling, UK
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  • Michele Banks PhD,

    Formerly Research Associate
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, UK
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  • Carol Ewing MD FRCPCH,

    Consultant Paediatrician
    1. Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
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  • Susan Kirk PhD RN

    Reader
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, UK
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Correspondence to P. Callery:

email: peter.callery@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Background

Children's emergency hospital use is of concern internationally, but there has been little examination of home care by nurses.

Aims

To examine the care provided by community children's nurses during acute illness.

Design

Triangulation of findings from case studies of three Community Children's Nursing Teams.

Methods

Parents or carers (n = 763) completed questionnaires between 2008–2010 about their contacts with nurses and satisfaction with aspects and overall assessment of nursing care provided. Eighty-one individuals participated in semi-structured interviews: 29 parents/carers described their experiences and explained their questionnaire responses in more detail; 13 children talked about their care both in hospital and at home; and 39 nurses and other healthcare providers explained how nurses supported care of children at home. Questionnaire data were analysed descriptively and interview data qualitatively. The findings were integrated by triangulation of methods (questionnaires and interviews) and of data from different informants (children, parents, healthcare providers).

Results

Nursing care most frequently took the form of advice and education by either home visits or telephone contact. Parents and children were reassured by access to nurses and it gave them confidence to care at home. Most respondents thought that it reduced the time their children spent in hospital.

Conclusions

Nurses can make an important contribution to supporting parents to care confidently for their children at home to reduce or even to avoid hospitalization for acute conditions and give them confidence to manage future episodes of illness.

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