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Informational needs in families after their child's mild head injury.

Research paper by Ann-Charlotte AC Falk, Lennart L von Wendt, Birgitta B Klang

Indexed on: 27 Nov '07Published on: 27 Nov '07Published in: Patient Education and Counseling



Abstract

When a child is hospitalized due to an illness or injury, the entire family may experience stress and/or anxiety. According to parents who have been in such a situation, providing adequate information is one of the most valuable ways to help the family deal with such feelings. Most mild head injuries suffered by children do not require hospitalisation and in such cases, their families should be provided with appropriate information in connection with their visit to the emergency ward. In the present study, family informational needs are characterized.The families of 57 children who had suffered a mild head injury at 0-15 years of age answered one open-ended question. The analysis was carried out using content analysis.This analysis revealed two types of needs, i.e., a need for information concerning the head injury itself and how to provide care, as well as a need for reassurance and support in sharing and coping with the emotional burden.Despite differences in the severity of the child's head injury and requirement for hospitalisation, all the families expressed the same informational needs but also the need for emotional support.In connection with the treatment of children with head injuries, health-care personnel should provide the parents both with information concerning the injury and its treatment and with emotional support.