Introduction One in six children who have been admitted to hospital with an injury develop persistent stress symptoms that put their development at risk. Parents play a crucial role in children's psychological recovery, however, it is unknown how specific parenting behaviours can help or hinder. We aim to describe the nature and quantity of parent–child communication after a child has been injured, and to examine how these interactions are related to children's psychological recovery.
Methods and analysis We are conducting a prospective observational study among children aged 3–16 years, who have been admitted to a tertiary children's hospital with a serious injury. Data collection involves a naturalistic observation of spontaneous, everyday parent–child communication at home, shortly after discharge, and an assessment of children's psychological recovery at 6 weeks and 3 months post-injury. Main analyses comprise descriptive statistics, cluster analysis and analyses of variance.
Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne (33103) and Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (CF13/2515—2013001322). We aim to disseminate the findings through international peer-reviewed journals, international conferences and social media. Participants will be sent a summary of the overall study findings.
- MENTAL HEALTH
- SOCIAL MEDICINE
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