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March 1989

An Educational Booklet Diminishes Anxiety in Parents Whose Children Receive Total Parenteral Nutrition

Author Affiliations

From the Office of Educational Resources, Texas Children's Hospital (Drs Laine and Shulman and Mss Bartholomew, Gardner, Reed, and Cole), and the US Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine (Dr Shulman), Houston.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(3):374-377. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150150136033

• A major cause of anxiety in parents of hospitalized children is insufficient information about hospital procedures. In an effort to determine the extent to which parental anxiety could be diminished and knowledge and satisfaction enhanced in regard to total parenteral nutrition (TPN), we developed a booklet that describes the mechanics of TPN administration and related procedures. When informal discussions were held between parents and members of the nutritional support team during four alternating periods (every five to six months), parents of first-time recipients of TPN either did not receive the booklet (period 1, n = 20; period 3, n = 30) or received it (period 2, n =23; period 4, n = 27). Within one week of TPN initiation, parents in both groups completed the Spielberger State-Trait anxiety scale, an attitude questionnaire, and a quiz on TPN. No differences between groups were found in ethnic background, socioeconomic status, severity of illness, age of children, or route of TPN administration. Predisposition to anxiety was also similar between the groups. In contrast, acute situational anxiety was significantly greater in the group with no booklet than in the booklet group. Parents in the no-booklet group demonstrated less comfort in the care of their children and less knowledge about TPN than did the booklet group. Written information provided to parents decreased their anxiety and increased satisfaction with patient care more successfully than did verbal communication. Such a booklet may reduce parentally induced anxiety in the child and facilitate parent-hospital staff interactions.

(AJDC 1989;143:374-377)

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