Current Content
Volume 33, Number 6
November/December 2007

Children’s Knowledge and Degree of Participation in Decision Making When Undergoing a Clinical Diagnostic Procedure
Ingrid Runeson, Eva Mårtenson and Karin Enskär

Twenty-three children, (6-11 years, 9 boys and 14 girls), admitted to a pediatric day care department for a planned diagnostic procedure were interviewed with the aim of investigating their level of knowledge regarding a current diagnostic procedure, and the level of participation in emailNewsletter and decision making relating to their hospitalization. While the children were being interviewed, their attendant parent completed a questionnaire. The children’s level of knowledge was documented and graded. The children’s statements and their parents’ evaluation of the information given to the child were sorted into groups and compared. The children’s descriptions of their participation in emailNewsletter and decision-making were assessed and summarized. Finally, the children’s and their parents’ experiences of the children’s anxiety and fear before the hospital visit were compared. The children were undergoing different kinds of diagnostic procedures and they had received information from different people. They were prepared for their admission in different ways, and had participated in emailNewsletter and decisions to various degrees. Despite this preparation, it would be safe to state that the participants as a group were not very well informed nor did they participate fully. More knowledge is needed regarding how to prepare each child prior to admission, before, during, and after the hospital visit and which additional factors, e.g., trust and a familiar environment, have influence on the child’s experience.