Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Nursing

Major Professor

Tami H. Wyatt

Committee Members

Joanne Hall, Lisa C. Lindley, Matthew J. Devereaux, Nan Gaylord

Abstract

Children often experience the uncomfortable effects of invasive procedures as a part of primary health supervision and during times of illness. Inadequate procedural comfort management can lead to numerous lasting harmful effects including distrust of healthcare providers, future intensified pain responses, negative cognitive and emotional experiences, and psychosocial health problems (Czarnecki et al. 2011). Holistic comfort has been well documented in adult literature but little research exists on the understanding of holistic procedural comfort from the child’s perspective. The purpose of this study was to explore perspectives of children age 4 to 7 years and their caregivers regarding procedural holistic comfort. A qualitative descriptive design described by Sandelowski (2000; 2010) was used with the philosophical underpinnings of naturalistic inquiry (Guba & Lincoln, 1982). Purposive and convenience sampling with a flyer was used to recruit participants from an outpatient hospital laboratory. The sample included 13 child participants and 15 caregiver participants who were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Traditional thematic content analysis described by Hsieh and Shannon (2005) was implemented to interpret four overarching themes of holistic comfort related to venipuncture procedures in children: Body Comfort, Cognitive and Emotional Comfort, Comfort in the Procedure Surroundings, and Comfort Play. Numerous recommendations for future research as well as implications for nursing and related science practice, organizational/administrative management, invasive procedures, theory, and methods are discussed.

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