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Title: Protecting, providing and participating : fathers and their children's unplanned hospital admission
Author: Higham, Sue
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2011
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Fathers are being encouraged to be more involved with all aspects of their children's lives and patterns of responsibility for earning income and childcare within families are changing. Yet fathers have been overlooked in previous nursing research into the experiences of the parents of sick children in hospital, leaving nurses wishing to practice family-centred care without an evidence base for their practice with fathers. In this thesis an investigation is presented into the experiences of fathers of children admitted to general children's wards in a District General Hospital following acute illness or injury. A critical realist ethnographic approach was adopted in a study design incorporating participant observation, interviews with nurses and post-discharge interviews with fathers. Data were analysed through a process of content analysis and interpretation. Interpretation was guided by domain theory, reflecting the understanding that the social world is multidimensional. This enabled the complexity of fathers' experiences and the factors which influence them to be identified. Whilst fathers were often seen by health care professionals to be marginal to the child's illness, the study showed that many fathers played significant roles in the families' experiences of hospitalisation of a child for acute illness. Fathers could face barriers to involvement in the child's care which mothers did not. Such barriers arose from their own understandings and circumstances, but also from mothers' and nurses' behaviour in addition to institutional processes and routines. Nurses had received no training or education on working with fathers and therefore based their practice on experiential knowledge. The study indicates the need for changes in nurse education to better prepare nurses to practice family-centred care with 21st century families. It also demonstrates the need for practitioners, institutions and policy makers to take both mothers and fathers into account in the planning and delivery of children's acute in-patient care.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.N.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available