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Att vara barn i sjukdom och sjukvård: barns berättelser om sina upplevelser av sjukdom och sjukvårdsrädsla
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overarching aim of this thesis is to illuminate the experience of illness and the meaning of fear of medical care through children’s narratives.

A purposive sample of 22 children and youths, aged from 2 to 18 years, narrated through play and conversation their experiences of illness and of their fear of contact with medical care. The data were analysed using thematic qualitative content analysis and the phenomenological hermeneutic method.

In childhood, the experience of being ill seems to vary with the child’s age. At the ages of 7 to 10 years, the child’s way of thinking can colour the experience;imagination can produce both problems and opportunities. Children seem to combine imagination and reality, and contrasts in the experience coexist such as being scared/confident, sad/cosy and hurt/having fun. At the age of 11 to 18,being ill seemed to imply being lost, hurt and in need of comfort from themselves and others. Medical care can be frightening to children and what is fearful can differ with age. To a 2-year-old child, medical care seemed to be dangerous; to children aged 7 to 11 years, it seemed threatening, like a monster. To the 2-year-old child, there seemed to be a conflict between, on the one hand, living up to expectations by ‘being good’ and hiding their feelings or, on the other hand, communicating their fear.

The narrations by children in the 7–11 year age group, point to the importance of empathy when caring for children, i.e., to be receptive of the child’s fear in order to help the child through and out of the fear. To be afraid for a two-yearold was to have one’s trust broken yet still be searching for a trustful relationship. However, if the child is received along with the fear, this opened up an opportunity for the child to develop courage and to gain control over the fear when under gentle care.

The results of this research revealed the possibility of using play to create stories in a creative relationship with the child. To express one’s inner feeling is a gift of trust, a gift of hospitality. Thus when caring for children we can be the ones who are receiving that gift. We can accept the offer of being a guest in the child’s world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pediatrik , 2006. , 71 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1048
Keyword [en]
Child, adolescent, illness, medical fear, experiences, narration
National Category
Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-947ISBN: 91-7264-156-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-947DiVA: diva2:145161
Public defence
2006-12-15, Aula, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-11-24 Created: 2006-11-24 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The experience of being ill as narrated by hospitalized children aged 7-10 years with short-term illness.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The experience of being ill as narrated by hospitalized children aged 7-10 years with short-term illness.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Child Health Care, ISSN 1367-4935, E-ISSN 1741-2889, Vol. 9, no 2, 153-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Children's illness has been investigated through the eyes of parents and nurses but the child's own perspective has been largely ignored. The aim of this study is to illuminate the 7-10-year-olds' experiences of being ill. Three girls and four boys were interviewed and narrated their experience about short-term illness. The data obtained was subjected to a thematic qualitative content analysis. The analysis suggests that the children combined reality and imagination and contrasts seemed to coexist such as being scared/confident, sad/cosy and hurt/having fun. They felt caught and tried to escape. The experience of illness as narrated by children can lead to a richer understanding and influence the way we care for paediatric patients.

Keyword
Children, ill, experience
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16430 (URN)10.1177/1367493505051406 (DOI)15961369 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-01-12 Created: 2008-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Being ill as narrated by children aged 11-18 years.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being ill as narrated by children aged 11-18 years.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Child Health Care, ISSN 1367-4935, E-ISSN 1741-2889, Vol. 9, no 4, 314-323 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Being ill from a child's perspective has not been often investigated. The aim of this study was to illuminate the experience of being ill between the ages of 11-18 years. Four girls and one boy who were suffering short-term illness were interviewed and the data obtained subjected to qualitative content analysis. Illness disrupted their daily lives and made things unrecognizable. Being ill at the age of 11-18 seemed to imply being lost, hurt and in need of comfort from themselves and others. These narrations may indicate to health care professionals how they can improve their practice. This study suggests what is appreciated by children of this age when ill, namely being spoken to and informed about the illness and treatment. The children valued peace and quiet and wanted to listen to and adjust to their bodies.

Keyword
Adolescent, Child, Cost of Illness, Female, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Sweden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6984 (URN)10.1177/1367493505056485 (DOI)16275668 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Being afraid of medical care: a narrative mediated through the symbolic play of one 2 year-old boy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being afraid of medical care: a narrative mediated through the symbolic play of one 2 year-old boy
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5597 (URN)
Available from: 2006-11-24 Created: 2006-11-24 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved
4. Afraid of medical care: school-aged children's narratives about medical fear
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Afraid of medical care: school-aged children's narratives about medical fear
2009 (English)In: Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families, ISSN 0882-5963, E-ISSN 1532-8449, Vol. 24, no 6, 519-528 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Saunders Elsevier, 2009
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5598 (URN)
Available from: 2006-11-24 Created: 2006-11-24 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved

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