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Open Access Research article

Parent experiences of inpatient pediatric care in relation to health care delivery and sociodemographic characteristics: results of a Norwegian national survey

Erling Solheim* and Andrew M Garratt

Author Affiliations

Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Postboks 7004 St Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:512  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-512

Published: 10 December 2013



The national survey of parent experiences with inpatient pediatric care contribute to the Norwegian system of health care quality indicators. This article reports on the statistical association between parent experiences of inpatient pediatric care and aspects of health care delivery, child health status and health outcome as assessed by the parents, and the parents’ sociodemographic characteristics.


6,160 parents of children who were inpatients at one of Norway’s 20 pediatric departments in 2005 were contacted to take part in a survey that included the Parent Experience of Pediatric Care questionnaire. It includes 25 items that form six scales measuring parent experiences: doctor services, hospital facilities, information discharge, information about examinations and tests, nursing services and organization. The six scales were analyzed using OLS-regression.


3,308 (53.8%) responded. Mean scores ranged from 62.81 (organization) to 72.80 (hospital facilities) on a 0–100 scale where 100 is the best possible experience. Disappointment with staff, unexpected waiting, information regarding new medication, whether the staff were successful in easing the child’s pain, incorrect treatment and number of previous admissions had a statistically significant association with at least five of the PEPC scale scores. Disappointment with staff had the strongest association. Most sociodemographic characteristics had weak or no associations with parent experiences.


The complete relief of the child’s pain, reducing unexpected waiting and disappointment with staff, and providing good information about new medication are aspects of health care that should be considered in initiatives designed to improve parent experiences. In the Norwegian context parent experiences vary little by parents’ sociodemographic characteristics.

Parent experiences; Parent satisfaction; Quality of care; Inpatient pediatric care; Norway