How health professionals facilitate parents' involvement in decision-making at the hospital: A parental perspective
2017, The Author(s) 2017. In many western countries, parents have a legal right to influence and be involved in decision-making (DM) surrounding their children's healthcare. This ensures that the healthcare is customized as far as possible to meet the children's and families' needs and preferences. However, parental involvement in such DM is not sufficiently implemented and the parental role during hospitalizations has become demanding. More knowledge is required to inform health professionals (HPs) about how to improve parental involvement in DM from a health-promoting perspective. The aims of this study were to explore parents' experiences of how HPs facilitate their involvement in the DM surrounding their child's healthcare and to identify how HPs can improve parental involvement at the hospital. This was an explorative, descriptive qualitative study within a constructivist research paradigm, comprising a purposive sample of 12 parents participating in individual semi-structured interviews. Qualitative content analysis was performed. The findings showed that HPs' sensitivity to parents' capacity, resources and needs was essential in order to facilitate the latter's involvement in DM. HPs' sensitivity also seemed to influence the quality of communication and the HP-parent relationship. Moreover, these factors appeared to affect parents' coping ability during their children's hospitalization.