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Paediatric pandemic planning: children's perspectives and recommendations.

Authors
  • Koller, Donna1
  • Nicholas, David
  • Gearing, Robin
  • Kalfa, Ora
  • 1 Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [email protected] , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Health & Social Care in the Community
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2010
Volume
18
Issue
4
Pages
369–377
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00907.x
PMID: 20180866
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Children, as major stakeholders in paediatric hospitals, have remained absent from discussions on important healthcare issues. One critical area where children's voices have been minimised is in the planning for future pandemics. This paper presents a subset of data from a programme of research which examined various stakeholder experiences of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks of 2003. These data also generated recommendations for future pandemic planning. Specifically, this paper will examine the perspectives and recommendations of children hospitalised during SARS in a large paediatric hospital in Canada. Twenty-one (n = 21) child and adolescent participants were interviewed from a variety of medical areas including cardiac (n = 2), critical care (n = 2), organ transplant (n = 4), respiratory medicine (n = 8) and infectious diseases (patients diagnosed with suspected or probable SARS; n = 5). Data analyses exposed a range of children's experiences associated with the outbreaks as well as recommendations for future pandemic planning. Key recommendations included specific policies and guidelines concerning psychosocial care, infection control, communication strategies and the management of various resources. This paper is guided by a conceptual framework comprised of theories from child development and literature on children's rights. The authors call for greater youth participation in healthcare decision-making and pandemic planning.

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