Introduction: A lot of research has been done on reactions of caregivers of children hospitalized for a long
time and suffering from chronic diseases. There are not so much articles about the impact of short term hospitalization on family. Parent’s psychological well-being, level of stress, social support can affect children while even short hospitalization. Material: The examined group consisted of 64 caregivers of children hospitalized in Szpital Dziecięcy Polanki in Gdansk. Caregivers stayed with child during hospitalization and agreed to take part in the research. Children were average hospitalized for 7 days. Method: To gather data we used demographic and clinical survey. Caregivers were asked to estimate their level of stress. To measure way of coping with stress CISS was used, GSES to measure the level of control, CECS (showing or hiding emotions), and LOT-R (optimism). Results: There is a correlation between the caregiver’s level of stress and his/hers subjective estimation of children medical condition. There is correlation between the caregiver’s level of stress andseeking for social companionship, avoidance, and ways of coping focused on emotions. There was a correlation between level of stress and suppressing depression, and self-efficacy. Conclusions: 1) Caregiver’s high self-efficacy can decrease the level of stress – explaining to parents what they can do in their situation is very important. 2) Parents of younger children, suppressing their emotions, and very stressed should be given additional psychological help (psychoterapeutic and counseling).
Keywords: psychological stress, caregivers, child hospitalized, self-efficacy, age of onset