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Article

Psychosocial Distress in Parents with Children Awaiting Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Division of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1, Canada
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Division of Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1, Canada
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Division of Cardiac Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Urology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Jyu-Lin Chen
Children 2022, 9(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9010087
Received: 20 October 2021 / Revised: 26 November 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 9 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Surgery)
Due to resource restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many pediatric patients are facing substantial delays for surgery, potentially resulting in additional distress for caregivers. We aimed to assess the experiences and psychosocial distress of parents during COVID-19 as they relate to the pandemic, waiting for surgery, and the combined effects of both events. The was a cross-sectional qualitative study. Parents with children who faced treatment delays during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic for elective, non-emergent procedures across a variety of surgical specialties were recruited. Semi-structured telephone interviews and thematic analysis were utilized. Thematic saturation was reached with eighteen participants. Four themes were identified: coping with COVID-19, distress levels, quality and nature of communication with the surgical team, and the experience of COVID-19 related hospital restrictions. Participants reported varying levels of distress due to the delay in surgery, such as the fear of developmental delay or disease progression for their child. They also indicated their own physical and mental health had been impacted by emotional distress related to both COVID-19 and delays in treatment. Most participants experienced the COVID-19-related hospital restrictions as distressing. This related predominantly to limiting in-hospital caregivers to only one caregiver. Participants were found to have substantial levels of psychosocial distress. Targeted social and emotional support may be helpful in reducing parental distress as the pandemic timeframe continues. Within the limits of individual health systems, reducing restrictions to the number of allowed care givers may help allay distress felt by parents. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; psychosocial distress; waiting lists; pediatric surgery COVID-19; psychosocial distress; waiting lists; pediatric surgery
MDPI and ACS Style

Forner, D.; Leslie, P.K.; Aldaihani, A.; Bezuhly, M.; Noel, C.W.; Horne, D.; Walling, S.; Robitaille, J.; MacLellan, D.L.; El-Hawary, R.; Logan, K.; Romao, R.; LaRoche, R.; Sett, S.; Urquhart, R.; Hong, P. Psychosocial Distress in Parents with Children Awaiting Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Children 2022, 9, 87. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9010087

AMA Style

Forner D, Leslie PK, Aldaihani A, Bezuhly M, Noel CW, Horne D, Walling S, Robitaille J, MacLellan DL, El-Hawary R, Logan K, Romao R, LaRoche R, Sett S, Urquhart R, Hong P. Psychosocial Distress in Parents with Children Awaiting Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Children. 2022; 9(1):87. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9010087

Chicago/Turabian Style

Forner, David, Patricia K. Leslie, Abdullah Aldaihani, Michael Bezuhly, Christopher W. Noel, David Horne, Simon Walling, Johane Robitaille, Dawn L. MacLellan, Ron El-Hawary, Karl Logan, Rodrigo Romao, Robert LaRoche, Suvro Sett, Robin Urquhart, and Paul Hong. 2022. "Psychosocial Distress in Parents with Children Awaiting Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Children 9, no. 1: 87. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9010087

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