Parental Experiences of the Pediatric Day Surgery Pathway and the Needs for a Digital Gaming Solution: Qualitative Study

Arja Rantala (Corresponding Author), Miia M. Jansson, Otto Helve, Pekka Lahdenne, Minna Pikkarainen, Tarja Pölkki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    78 Downloads (Pure)


    BACKGROUND: The parents of hospitalized children are often dissatisfied with waiting times, fasting, discharge criteria, postoperative pain relief, and postoperative guidance. Parents' experiences help care providers to provide effective, family-centered care that responds to parents' needs throughout the day surgery pathway. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to describe parental experiences of the pediatric day surgery pathway and the needs for a digital gaming solution in order to facilitate the digitalization of these pathways. METHODS: This was a descriptive qualitative study. The participants (N=31) were parents whose children were admitted to the hospital for the day surgical treatments or magnetic resonance imaging. The data were collected through an unstructured, open-ended questionnaire; an inductive content analysis was conducted to analyze the qualitative data. Reporting of the study findings adheres to the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist. RESULTS: Parental experiences of the children's day surgery pathway included 3 main categories: (1) needs for parental guidance, (2) needs for support, and (3) child involved in his or her own pathway (eg, consideration of an individual child and preparation of child for treatment). The needs for a digital gaming solution were identified as 1 main category-the digital gaming solution for children and families to support care. This main category included 3 upper categories: (1) preparing children and families for the day surgery via the solution, (2) gamification in the solution, and (3) connecting people through the solution. CONCLUSIONS: Parents need guidance and support for their children's day surgery care pathways. A digital gaming solution may be a relevant tool to support communication and to provide information on day surgeries. Families are ready for and are open to digital gaming solutions that provide support and guidance and engage children in the day surgery pathways.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere23626
    JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • anxiety
    • children
    • day surgery
    • delivery of health care
    • digital solution
    • gamification
    • nursing
    • pain
    • qualitative study
    • technology


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