Parent Satisfaction with the Hospital Care provided to Hospitalized Children

Background: The degree of satisfaction of parents with the hospital care provided to their hospitalized children constitutes an indicator in the evaluation of the quality of hospital care. Aim: This study aimed to assess the degree of parental satisfaction with the hospital care of their hospitalized children. Method: A non experimental study was conducted using an anonymous questionnaire. The sample consisted of 206 parents whose children were hospitalized for at least 3 days in the paediatric and paediatric surgical departments of one paediatric and one general hospital in Athens, from September to December 2006. The questionnaire included 68 items using 8 main measurement indices covering information about the child’s illness, routines in the clinic, accessibility, medical treatment, caring processes, staff attitudes, participation and the staff work environment, as well as an overall quality rating. The statistical significance level adopted was p<0.05. Results: Of the nine parameters measured, parents were most satisfied with the staff’s attitude and the medical treatment, while they were less satisfied with the information given about routines and with the working environment. A comparison of the two hospitals revealed that parents whose children were treated in the paediatric departments of the general hospital were more satisfied with all aspects of care, except for accessibility (p<0.028) and the total health care provided (p<0.001). The parents’ comments revealed that the main problems in both hospitals were the insufficient numbers of staff and the lack of hygiene. Conclusions: Parents were in general satisfied with the hospital care of their hospitalized children, but they also indicated problems related to staffing and the hospital structure. The findings of this study and the parents’ comments need to be taken into serious consideration in planning for the improvement of the Greek paediatric hospitals.