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An interpretative phenomenological study of Chinese mothers’ experiences of constant vigilance in caring for a hospitalized sick child
Regina L.T. Lee & Vicky W.K. Lau
Accepted for publication 6 October 2012

Correspondence to R.L.T. Lee: e-mail: Regina L.T. Lee PhD RN Assistant Professor School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong, China Vicky W.K. Lau MN RN Advanced Practice Nurse Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, Hong Kong, China

An interpretative phenomenological
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The mothers in these studies felt disempowered because they were inadequately informed about their role when their children were hospitalized. Most of these studies used a quantitative approach to identify the needs of parents caring for their sick, hospitalized children in Western countries (Blower & Morgan 2000, Shields & Pratt 2000 Shields & Pratt 2006, Shields et al. 2011). Some critical studies on parental caregiving experiences have also been carried out in the West (Shirk & Karver 2003, German et al. 2009), but little has been done in Hong Kong ´ on the study of general paediatric care. If healthcare providers understood the meaning of mothers’ role in caring for their hospitalized child, it would be easier for them to understand what mothers really need and would strengthen the relationships between nurses and mothers. The purpose of this study was to examine Chinese mothers’ experience of caring for their hospitalized child in general paediatric care. It has been found that any unexpected illness in a child deeply disrupts the typical functioning of the family (Stancin et al. 2001, Kennedy et al. 2004). Research on the processes by which parents cope with stressful situations has firmly demonstrated that parenting practices have a direct effect on children’s behaviours and outcomes, and that trauma and stress may impact their abilities to function as parents in a variety of circumstances (Abidin 1995, Santacroce 2003,
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