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Humanising children's suffering during medical procedures
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare. (Vhäl A2)
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare. (Vhäl A2)
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
2017 (English)In: European Conference in Nursing  and Nursing Research 2017, 2017, Vol. 16, p. 32-, article id suppl1Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

Humanising children’s suffering during medical procedures

Laura Darcy, Katarina Karlsson, Kate Galvin

Background: The views of children have historically been seen as unimportant – they have been viewed as unintelligent and unable to tell of their experiences or participate in care, resulting in dehumanisation. Recent research has given young vulnerable children a voice and highlighted the importance of caring humanly for sick children (Darcy, 2015 & Karlsson, 2015). A conceptual framework consisting of eight dimensions of humanisation has been proposed by Todres, Galvin and Holloway (2009)which can highlight the need for young children to be cared for as human beings: Insiderness, Agency, Uniqueness, Togetherness, Meaning – making, Personal journey, Sense of Place and Embodiment. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the value of a humanising theoretical framework in paediatric care illustrated by examples of young children’s suffering when undergoing medical procedures.

Materials and Methods: In two separate Swedish studies 20 children (3-7 years of age) with a variety of diagnosis were interviewed about their experiences of everyday life with cancer or their experiences of undergoing painful medical procedures. Parents and nurses views were welcomed as complimentary to child data. Interviews had been analysed qualitatively by either content analyses or by phenomenological and life world herme­neutic approaches. In the present study, a secondary inductive qualitative content analysis of the results has been made based on the proposed dimensions of humanisation/dehumanistion.

Results: The eight dimensional framework Illustrated several forms of dehumanisation: Objectification –children’s opinions and experiences are seldom requested; Passivity – the use of restraint still happens and negatively affects the child; Homogenisation – children are viewed as their diagnosis; Isolation – children sense separation from parents, siblings and friends; Loss of meaning –appropriate information and preparation for the child is lacking; Loss of personal journey - everyday life functioning is affected making it difficult to see meaning; Dislocation – a sense of homelessness  is experienced at home, at the hospital and at preschool/school; Reductionist view – medical procedures becomes the professional focus of care, not the child.

Conclusion: Dehumanisation occurs when humanising dimensions are obscured to a significant degree. Children’s own voices in care and research are required to correct the present power imbalance. Children require assistance in making sense of healthcare situations through play and preparation. Access to family and friends, being treated with dignity and encouragement to participate in care, will encourage humanising the dehumanisation illustrated in this study.

References:

Darcy, L. (2015). The everyday life of young children through their cancer trajectory. Jönköping: School of Health Sciences.

Karlsson, K. (2015). ”I´m afraid, I want my mommy”: Younger children´s, parents’ and nurses´ lived experiences of needle procedures in health care. Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare

Todres, L., Galvin, K. T., & Holloway, I. (2009). The humanization of healthcare: A value framework for qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 4(2), 68-77.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 16, p. 32-, article id suppl1
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Människan i vården
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-13565DOI: 10.1186/s12912-017-0218-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-13565DiVA, id: diva2:1183787
Conference
European Conference in Nursing and Nursing Research 2017, Malmö, 4-5 July, 2017
Available from: 2018-02-19 Created: 2018-02-19 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-017-0218-2

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