Contextual Factors

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JAN
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JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

An interpretative phenomenological study of Chinese mothers’ experiences of constant vigilance in caring for a hospitalized sick child Regina L.T. Lee & Vicky W.K. Lau
Accepted for publication 6 October 2012

Correspondence to R.L.T. Lee: e-mail: hsrlee@polyu.edu.hk Regina L.T. Lee PhD RN Assistant Professor School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong, China Vicky W.K. Lau MN RN Advanced Practice Nurse Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, Hong Kong, China

An interpretative phenomenological study of Chinese mothers’ experiences of constant vigilance in caring for a hospitalized sick child. Journal of Advanced Nursing 00(0), 000–000. doi: 10.1111/jan.12042 LEE R.L.T. & LAU V.W.K. (2012)

Abstract
Aim. The aim of this study was to examine Chinese mothers’ experience of caring for their hospitalized sick child. Background. Engaging the mother in providing care for a hospitalized sick child is considered one of the key elements for high-quality care in advanced paediatric nursing. There is evidence that a mother’s belief in her capacity to manage stressful situations could improve the nurse–parent relationship because they might play an important role in protecting mothers against heightened stress during crisis situation. Design. An interpretive phenomenological approach involving semi-structured interview and thematic analysis was used. Method. Fifteen interviews were conducted in Hong Kong, China from April 2009–January 2010, with 15 mothers caring for their hospitalized sick children with acute injury or illness. Crist and Tanner’s circular process of hermeneutic interpretive phenomenology was chosen to guide the data analysis. Findings. The prevailing concept identified through analysis was the ‘constant vigilance’ that mothers developed. Interpretation of data resulted in the identification of four key themes: ‘being sensitive to others’, ‘providing helping hands’, ‘monitoring health conditions’, and ‘maintaining dialogues’. The findings highlight Chinese mothers’ desire for participation in caring for their hospitalized child, their unexpressed needs for communication, and concern about being uncared by the busy health professionals, which affect their care for the child’s health outcomes. Conclusion. The findings facilitate the development of family-centred care focuses on partnership of care between the nurse and family to enhance the Chinese family’s active and participatory role. 1 Keywords: XXXX

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Dispatch: 22.10.12 Author Received:

Journal: JAN CE: Jesuraj No. of pages: 11 PE: Padma

R.L.T. Lee and V.W.K. Lau

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Introduction
An unexpected diagnosis of injury or acute illness requiring hospitalization represents a stressful situation for a child and his/her family. Such stressors might be similar or different across cultures due to individuals’ past experiences and responses. In the last two decades, there has been increasing interest in the West in exploring the impacts of hospital2 related stresses for children and their families. To identify Chinese mothers’ coping needs, instead of transferring Western coping strategies, it would be more appropriate to find out about the experience of Chinese mothers caring for their hospitalized sick child.

Background
Some studies have found that mothers are the primary caregivers for their children in their daily lives, especially when they become sick (Gasquoine 2005, Alanne et al. 2011). Several studies have been conducted in Western countries on mothers’ general...
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