The influence of demographic characteristics on the perceived needs of parents in a sample of staff and parents of admitted children in a paediatric hospital inSwedenwere examined as part of a project inSweden,England,IndonesiaandAustralia. Over 100 parents and 100 staff responded and responses compared, including perceived importance of each of the 51 needs. Few needs were influenced by demography of either staff or parents, except for a) to meet other parents of a child with a similar condition; b) not to feel blamed for a child’s illness, and c) to have access to a social worker. The influencing characteristics were a) whether the responding parent was the child’s mother or father, b) their education level, and c) if staff held specialist paediatric qualifications. For nine needs all parents and staff agreed that they were important. These findings provide ways to enhance communication between parents and staff and provide evidence about the effects of hospitalisation on children.
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