The call for researchers to obtain children's informed assent, prior to their participation in medical procedures and research, has increased over recent years and parallels moves to implement child-centred approaches to health care. This article describes the processes used to include children in developing a research information sheet and assent form for use in future research into children's understandings of their surgery and hospital experiences. The process involved primary school children aged between six and 12 years. Children worked in small groups to consider information to include in these documents. Their words were collated to construct the research information sheet and assent form. Working with children resulted in documents that were more understandable for their intended audience. The article includes discussion of 'language', 'understandability' and 'readability'; concepts that researchers seeking to work with children need to come to terms with if they are to obtain 'informed assent'.
"Written consent was obtained from parents and written assent from child participants. Child assent documents were developed in collaboration with children and were in a language and form suitable for children in the study age group (Ford et al., 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is a mark of respect for children that their views around their healthcare are listened to and considered. To date, too little attention has been paid to children's views and experiences of admission to hospital for surgery. This paper presents findings from a constructivist grounded theory study of children's experiences of admission to hospital for surgery (from their perspectives). Age appropriate data collection techniques were used and included interviews with children and their drawings and stories. Ten children, aged 6-12 years, who were admitted to hospital for surgery participated in the research. The children were able to clearly articulate aspects of their experience, including their fears and anxieties, the things they enjoyed and the things that assisted them to cope with their experience. The substantive theory developed was 'children's reframing of their sense of selves to incorporate the experiences of hospitalization and surgery'. Children require information and support to alleviate their anxieties around the time of their surgery. With pressures on children's services, increased day surgery rates and shorter admissions, nurses who care for children around this time are challenged to find ways of knowing each child's story and the fears that they have.
Journal of Child Health Care 11/2011; 15(4):250-60. DOI:10.1177/1367493511420185 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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