How Do Hospitalized Adolescents Feel Safe? A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Background:

The feeling of safety makes an important contribution to the sense of well-being and quality of care for hospitalized adolescents, who are at a higher risk of feeling unsafe. Feeling unsafe during hospitalization may have a negative impact on recovery. Nurses must be sensitive to the possibility that patients feel unsafe, even in the absence of obvious direct physical threat.

Purpose:

This study explores the experiences of hospitalized adolescents to obtain an understanding of psychological safety.

Methods:

A qualitative study using unstructured interviews was conducted to explore the sense of psychological safety of hospitalized adolescents aged 12–18 years and registered in a general medical or surgical pediatric unit. Purposive sampling was used to recruit new qualified participants until data saturation was reached (N = 16).

Results:

Psychological safety is reflected by the four themes of receiving comprehensive support, protection of human dignity, relaxing environment, and attempts to adapt.

Conclusions:

Hospitalized adolescents stated that healthcare services should provide comprehensive support in a relaxing environment that allows them to retain their human dignity and that elicits feelings of psychological safety.

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