A systematic integrative review of parents' experience and perception of sleep when they stay overnight in the hospital together with their sick children

Løyland, Borghild; Angelhoff, Charlotte; Kristjánsdóttir, Gudrún; Sjølie, Hege
March 2020
Journal of Clinical Nursing (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.);Mar2020, Vol. 29 Issue 5/6, p706
Academic Journal
Aims and objectives: To elucidate knowledge available on parents' experience and perception of sleep when they stay overnight in hospital together with their sick children. Background: In Nordic countries, children are entitled to have at least one parent with them during hospitalisation. Parents' sleep, when accommodated at the hospital during the child's admission, may be a challenge. Design: A systematic literature search was conducted in EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO; period is restricted from 1 January 2007 to 1 April 2019. Studies included were those in which parents were accommodated in hospital with their child, 0–18 years of age, for at least one night. Original peer‐reviewed scientific research papers conducting qualitative, quantitative or mixed designs were included. Systematic reviews were not included. This systematic integrative review was registered in PROSPERO and performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. All authors participated in study selection, data extraction and quality assessment of the literature. Results: Fifteen studies were included, and they varied in terms of origin, aims, design, methods used and sample size. Three overall main themes appeared: sleep quality, factors affecting sleep and consequences of sleep loss. Combined psychological factors were found to affect parents' sleep, as well as isolated psychological factors, for example, stress, anxiety, worries and difficult thoughts. Environmental and social factors were also identified, for example, privacy and caring for family. Conclusion: Study of this subject is still in its exploratory phase. There is a need for the development of theory of substance in the clarification of the meaning of sleep among parents during difficult times such as children's hospitalisation. Relevance to clinical practice: Understanding risk factors associated with sleep and sleep deprivation in parents staying overnight in the hospital with their sick child is important, since lack of sleep may lead to serious stress‐related outcomes for the parents.


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