University of Oulu

Hui, W. J., Pikkarainen, M., Nah, S. A., Nah, S. N. J., Pölkki, T., Wang, W., & He, H.-G. (2020). Parental Experiences While Waiting For Children Undergoing Surgery in Singapore. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 52, e42–e50.

Parental experiences while waiting for children undergoing surgery in Singapore

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Author: Hui, Wen Jing1,2; Pikkarainen, Minna3,4,5; Nah, Shireen Anne6,7;
Organizations: 1Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2Division of Nursing, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
3Martti Ahtisaari Institute, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland
4VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland
5Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
6Department of Paediatric Surgery, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
7Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia
8Operating Theatre, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
9University of Oulu, Finland
10Department of Children and Women, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
11National University Health System, Singapore
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-05-01


Purpose: To explore the experiences and needs of parents while waiting for their children undergoing surgery.

Designs and methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted. A purposive sample of 11 parents who went through their first waiting experiences during their children‘s surgeries in a Singapore public hospital was recruited. Children younger than or equal to 16 years of age were included. A semi-structured interview guide facilitated the individual face-to-face interviews. Thematic analysis was used.

Results: Four themes were identified: “Care and care provision affecting waiting experiences”, “Parental concerns and surgery affecting waiting experiences”, “Coping strategies used during waiting periods” and “Recommendations to improve waiting experiences”. Pre-operative instructions, the professionalism of medical teams, and a lack of timely updates affected parental experiences. Parents expressed their worries. The complexities and types of surgery influenced how they felt. Their concerns included potential complications, surgical outcomes, anesthesia-related side effects, and post-operative care including pain. They spent their waiting times eating, resting, using their smart devices, and coping with a support system. Environmental improvements, more updates, and mobile applications were recommended by the participants.

Conclusion: For a parent, the wait during his/her child‘s surgery can be unsettling. Our results give insights into parental waiting experiences and needs during their children‘s surgeries.

Practice implications: These findings can guide the improvement of the current practise based on our evidence or the implementation of newer technology to provide better waiting experiences for parents during their children‘s surgeries and to enhance the quality of clients‘ experiences in the hospital.

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Series: Journal of pediatric nursing
ISSN: 0882-5963
ISSN-E: 1532-8449
ISSN-L: 0882-5963
Volume: 52
Pages: e42 - e50
DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2020.01.004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: This research was supported by the Business Finland [Grant number: 409/31/2018].
Copyright information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http:/