Vasey, Jackie (2015) Tokenism or true partnership: Parental involvement in a child’s acute pain care. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Despite the growing evidence about acute pain management in children and the availability of practice guidelines, children still experience unnecessary pain when in hospital. Involving parents in their child’s pain care has been identified as being central to the pain management in children. However, little is known about how parents and nurses work in partnership in acute children’s wards to care for the child experiencing pain. This thesis explored the experiences and perceptions of parents and nurses and the extent to which parents are involved and partners in the child’s pain care, and the factors that influence parental involvement in care. The family-centred care practice continuum was the theoretical framework that underpinned the study.
A qualitative ethnographical study using non-participant observation and follow up interviews was undertaken. Fourteen nurses and 44 parents/grandparents participated, recruited from the children’s wards of two district general hospitals. The framework approach underpinned data analysis.
While some evidence of parental involvement was identified, the study revealed variations in the way parents are involved in their child’s pain care. A range of challenges were highlighted in relation to the implementation of family-centred care as an approach to promote parental involvement in care. Parents wanted to be more involved in their child’s pain care, and act as an advocate for their child, particularly when they perceived their child’s pain care to be sub-optimal. At times nurses created barriers to parental involvement in pain care, for example, by not communicating effectively with parents and planning pain care without involving parents. The ‘Pillars of Partnership in Pain Care Model’ is offered as an alternative approach to engaging with parents, to address the barriers to involvement and assist nurses shift from a paternalistic approach to involvement to one of working collaboratively with parents in the context of the care of child in pain.
Conclusions and implications for practice
Parental involvement in their child’s acute pain care can improve the child’s pain experience, increase parents’ satisfaction in care and reduce parental anxiety. The challenge for nurses is to embrace parental contribution to care and develop the confidence to support parents to advocate for their child.

Final thesis - VASEY.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email