Background Several “Charts of rights” have been issued in Europe to solemnely proclaim the Rights of children during their hospital stay. However, notwithstanding such general declarations, the actual implementation of hospitalized children’s rights is unclear. Nurses play a fundamental role in putting into effect the Charts of rights of hospitalized children.
Goal. To evaluate to what extent the rights of hospitalized children are actually respected in Italian Pediatrics Units.
Methods Cross-sectional study. The study was promoted by Italian Society of Pediatric Nursing Science (SISIP). A 12-item online questionnaire was set up and an invitation was sent by email to pediatric Nurses using SISIP’s mailing lists. Responders indicated to what extent each right is respected in their hospital using a numeric scale from 1(never) to 5(always).
Results 536 questionnaires were returned. The best implemented right is the right of children to have their mothers with them (mean score 4.47). The least respected is the right of children to express their opinion about care (mean 3.01). Other rights considered: right to play (4.29), right of information (3.95), right to the respect of privacy (3.75), right to be hospitalized with peers (3.4), right not to experience pain ever (3.24), right to school (3.08). According to the majority of Nurses, the most important is the right to pain relief.
Discussion Despite official declarations, the rights of hospitalized children are far from being enforced in Italian Pediatrics Unit. Nurses must proactively participate to the respect of such rights, in particular the right to pain relief.