Take a Breath is a program of research committed to finding the best way to support families whose child has recently been diagnosed with a serious or life threatening illness or injury. Discovering that a child has a serious illness/ injury is distressing for parents. Along with the emotions and worries of having an ill child, spending time at the hospital for treatment also brings many changes to how the family functions day-to-day. Families adjust differently, so it is important for us to be able to work out at an early stage which families may benefit from additional support services, which will help them and their child in the short term and well into the future.
Our program of research recruited parents of children admitted across four hospital departments at The Royal Children’s Hospital:
- Parents of a child who was admitted to the intensive care unit, for a stay longer than 48 hours
- Parents who had a child diagnosed with a form of cancer
- Parents who had a child that required heart surgery within a month after birth
- Parents who had a child diagnosed with a serious neurological condition