Parental experiences while waiting for children undergoing surgery in Singapore

Wen Jing Hui, Minna Pikkarainen, Shireen Anne Nah, Siew Noy Jaslin Nah, Tarja Pölkki, Wenru Wang, Hong Gu He (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Purpose: To explore the experiences and needs of parents while waiting for their children undergoing surgery. Designs and Methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted. A purposive sample of 11 parents who went through their first waiting experiences during their children's surgeries in a Singapore public hospital was recruited. Children younger than or equal to 16 years of age were included. A semi-structured interview guide facilitated the individual face-to-face interviews. Thematic analysis was used. Results: Four themes were identified: “Care and care provision affecting waiting experiences”, “Parental concerns and surgery affecting waiting experiences”, “Coping strategies used during waiting periods” and “Recommendations to improve waiting experiences”. Pre-operative instructions, the professionalism of medical teams, and a lack of timely updates affected parental experiences. Parents expressed their worries. The complexities and types of surgery influenced how they felt. Their concerns included potential complications, surgical outcomes, anesthesia-related side effects, and post-operative care including pain. They spent their waiting times eating, resting, using their smart devices, and coping with a support system. Environmental improvements, more updates, and mobile applications were recommended by the participants. Conclusion: For a parent, the wait during his/her child's surgery can be unsettling. Our results give insights into parental waiting experiences and needs during their children's surgeries. Practice implications: These findings can guide the improvement of the current practise based on our evidence or the implementation of newer technology to provide better waiting experiences for parents during their children's surgeries and to enhance the quality of clients' experiences in the hospital.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



    • Child
    • Paediatric surgery
    • Parents
    • Waiting experience

    Cite this