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Parental needs and nursing response following SUFE Surgery: An interpretive descriptive study

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posted on 16.01.2022, 20:52 by Deo, Lalesh

The parental experience of caring for a child following the unexpected admission and surgery for a significant hip injury has largely been unexplored in the New Zealand (NZ) context. Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE) is one of the most common orthopaedic hip disorders prevalent amongst children between the ages of nine to fifteen years. In New Zealand, Māori and Pacific children are the most vulnerable population at risk of this hip condition. Existing literature focuses on the demographic and epidemiological studies, including surgical treatment and management of SUFE; however, there is a dearth of research concerning SUFE that focuses on parents’ experiences in the postoperative, discharge and rehabilitative phases of care and the nurses’ experience of caring for these children and their families.

This qualitative study was undertaken at a large public hospital in New Zealand and interpretive descriptive methodology was utilised to examine the experiences of parents and nurses in caring for a child following invasive SUFE repair. As Māori and Pacific Island populations are highly represented in the SUFE statistics, most of the parents used in this study are from these socio-cultural backgrounds. Through transcribed semi-structured interviews with parents of five children who underwent SUFE repair, and five paediatric nurses caring for children and their families in the hospital ward, this study offers two perspectives of the journey for these parents following such an injury, from the child’s hospitalisation to caring for these children once they are home. Following thematic analysis, these perspectives are presented and contrasted revealing, insights of the parents’ ongoing need for support, information and planning for care and nurses’ efforts to meet these needs. Implications of nursing practice and parental education include the need for improved information sharing and delivery to aid parents understanding of the SUFE condition and effective management of care during hospitalisation and at home following discharge. Recommendations are made to improve the parental experience to support their child’s recovery following SUFE surgery.

Key Words:SUFE, Parents and caregivers, Māori and Pacific populations, Nurses


Advisor 1

Lindsay, Natalie

Advisor 2

Woods, Martin

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Health Research

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Health Research

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Lindsay, Natalie; Woods, Martin