University of Oulu

Cherie Mun Chang, Yan Li, Leng Leng Or, Minna Pikkarainen, Tarja Pölkki, Wenru Wang, Siew Tiang Lau, Hong-Gu He, A Qualitative Study Exploring Singaporean Parents’ Perceptions on PreParing their Child for Surgery, Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Volume 54, 2020, Pages e69-e77, ISSN 0882-5963,

A qualitative study exploring Singaporean parents’ perceptions on preparing their child for surgery

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Author: Chang, Cherie Mun1; Li, Yan2; Leng, Leng3;
Organizations: 1Division of Nursing, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
2Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King's College London, UK
3Major Operating Theatre, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
4Martti Ahtisaari Institute, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
5University of Oulu, Finland
6Department of Children and Women, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
7Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
8National University Health System, Singapore
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-01-17


Purpose: To explore the perceptions of parents regarding the preparation of their children for surgery.

Design and methods: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. Sixteen parents of children who were undergoing various types of elective surgery in a public tertiary hospital in Singapore were recruited. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Five themes were derived: (1) assumed roles of the parents; (2) communication, decision-making, and emotional challenges; (3) factors facilitating the preparation of children for surgery; (4) surgery-related and financial concerns; and (5) the desire for more information and better management. While preparing their children for surgery, parents undertook several roles to ensure readiness and to provide support. Parents faced challenges while communicating with their children regarding their surgeries, experiencing negative emotions and dilemmas in making decisions for surgery. Factors such as previous experiences, children’s positive mentality, and access to information helped to facilitate their preparation. Parents expressed surgery-related concerns such as anesthesia and a successful outcome of the surgery, the timing of the surgery, and postoperative care. Parents expressed a desire for easier to understand information through the use of visual materials, and improvements in current practices and management.

Conclusion: This study provides a greater understanding of parents’ perceptions of their roles, challenges, influencing factors, concerns, and needs when preparing their children for surgery.

Practice implications: The study findings provide insightful aspects for improving current healthcare practices and informing future research studies in exploring better surgery preparation programs for both parents and children.

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Series: Journal of pediatric nursing
ISSN: 0882-5963
ISSN-E: 1532-8449
ISSN-L: 0882-5963
Volume: 54
Pages: E69 - E77
DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2020.05.004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier Inc. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license