Children's experiences as hospital in-patients : voice, competence and work

Livesley, J ORCID: 2010, Children's experiences as hospital in-patients : voice, competence and work , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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There is growing evidence that children's subjective interpretations of events may differ significantly from those of adults; yet children's voices and children's knowledge regarding hospital care remain largely unexplored. This study was undertaken to determine what counted as voice in work with hospitalised children, and explore children's subjective interpretations and knowledge as in-patients. Influenced by critical ethnographic methods, the study was undertaken in two phases with children who had been in-patients in one English tertiary referral children's ward. Phase one involved reconnaissance with 6 children to explore what mattered most to them regarding their in-patient experience. Phase two involved field work undertaken over six months, on a nephro-urology ward, and included in-depth work with nine children. Voice became manifest in what the children said but also through the non-verbal mechanisms of resisting and being silent. In this study, the children chose which voice to present when they participated in the study and that voice was accepted without question. Inductive analysis revealed that the children shared the experience of being in trouble. While they were in-patients, recognition of their competence was fluid=and contingent on structural and material factors. When their competence was denied, some of the children fought hard to re-establish their claim as authentic and knowledgeable individuals. However, while all of the children who participated in this study, regardless of ability, were capable commentators on their experiences, their capacity to work in their own best interests was sometimes challenged. During these episodes, they relied heavily on supportive adults. In the absence of supportive adults they often became marooned and subject to routinised care.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Long, T (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:01

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