"They came up with other things that had more to do with the parent than the child. They even had trouble putting themselves in their children's place with the answer. Children mention negative things about their nurses causing them pain. Parents never mention pain."
The study is the first to specifically target hospitalized children and adolescents on the quality of their nursing care. It is also the first to evaluate children's perceptions of nurses' behavior for evidence of any disparities across demographic groups, Ryan-Wenger says.
The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. It will be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality and is available now online.
Ryan-Wegner says she was not able to find patient questionnaires from pediatric hospital that were written for the patient rather than the parents.
"They refer to 'your child' and 'does the hospital staff make you feel comfortable. Did the staff inform you about your child's progress?' Stuff like that," Ryan-Wegner says. "I'm trying to promote the idea that children need to be asked about the quality of their care while they are receiving it, not two weeks later when their parents get a survey in the mail."