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Post-discharge experiences of children and their families following children's surgery


Ford, K and Courtney-Pratt, HM and Fitzgerald, MA, Post-discharge experiences of children and their families following children's surgery, Journal of child health care, 16, (4) pp. 320-330. ISSN 1367-4935 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/1367493512448129


Increasing rates of day surgery and decreasing length of hospital stay mean children’s recovery from surgery extends beyond hospital and into the home. The objective of this study is to improve the understanding of experiences of children and their families during recovery at home post surgery. This is an exploratory, interpretive study using diaries and semi-structured interviews with children and parents. Results from this research show that children recovering at home after surgery have increased dependency and are likely to become the centre of family life; re-establishing independence is a marker of recovery. When present, pain dominates the experience. The families that go home ill-prepared experience high levels of worry. In conclusion, recovery from surgery is influenced by multiple factors; overall, families and children are resilient. There is a role for health professionals to tailor and improve information provision to parents and children about post-operative recovery, including assessment and management of pain. Information should be made available that describes the experience of other families who have undergone a similar surgery, and families should be made aware of what information they need and how to access it before and after discharge.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Children’s surgery, family-centred care, recovery
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Acute care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Ford, K (Dr Karen Ford)
UTAS Author:Courtney-Pratt, HM (Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt)
UTAS Author:Fitzgerald, MA (Professor Mary Fitzgerald)
ID Code:83834
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2013-03-24
Last Modified:2013-06-27

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