This study was carried out in order to evaluate children’s experiences after taking part in the pilot clinical intervention “See Me” aimed at supporting children as relatives.
A qualitative explorative design with interviews was chosen, with analyses using an inductive approach. Interviews were conducted with 19 children (9 aged 7-12 years and 10 aged 13-18 years). The younger children were asked to draw a picture of a person in hospital, using the Child Drawing: hospital (CD:H) instrument to measure the child’s level of anxiety. The older children completed the Caring Professional Scale (CPS) as a measure of the caring approach in their encounter with the nurse.
The interviews with the children show that: they felt expected and welcomed at the hospital; they needed knowledge about their parent’s situation; they needed information and participation based on their individual situation; and they needed the nurse to offer them information and support. The results from the pictures showed that one child had above-average levels of anxiety. The older children reported that the nurses were Competent Practitioners, but to a lesser degree that they were Compassionate Healers.
The results of this pilot study indicate that the structure of “See Me” could be used as a starting point to ensure that children as relatives receive information, advice, and support. Further the results indicate that both CD:H and CPS could be used to evaluated children’s experiences of support when a parent has a long-term illness.