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01-08-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2014

An Exploration of Parents’ Experiences and Empowerment in the Care for Preterm Born Children

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 6/2014
Auteurs:
Sylvia M. van der Pal, Laurence L. Alpay, Gert Jan van Steenbrugge, Symone B. Detmar

Abstract

Because of improved survival rates and medical prospects, the emphasis in care for preterm infants has shifted in recent years to a focus on support for the wellbeing of children and their families. For the healthcare professionals the parents of these children are the main partners for improving the care of their children. In this context, referring to “patient empowerment” implies not only the infant but also the parents, in other words “parent empowerment”. We aimed to explore parents’ experiences with hospital and aftercare for their preterm children, and the implications for parent empowerment, by organizing face-to-face (n = 4 and n = 7) and online (n = 14) focus group interviews with parents of preterm children. These focus group interviews showed that these parents indicated a lack of support and recognition of parental worries in the care for their infant during two important periods: (1) the transfer to another hospital and (2) after discharge home. These group interviews showed that parents greatly value initiatives that support and empower them in their role as parents and that strengthens their involvement in the care for their children. Requirements for enhancing parent empowerment are proposed.

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