International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

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The Process of Parents' Decision-Making to Discharge Their Child against Medical Advice (DAMA): A grounded theory study

Author(s):Nikbakht Nasrabadi Alireza, Peyrovi Hamid and Begjani Jamalodin

Discharge against medical advice (DAMA) refers to the phenomenon that patient or the patient’s surrogate decides to leave the hospital before the attending physician confirms the patient is discharged. Children are much more vulnerable to such discharges. This process occurs with different mechanisms that identifying them can be helpful in reducing this phenomenon. We aimed to explore the process of parents' decision-making to discharge their child against medical advice. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 fathers, 10 mothers, 6 nurses and 3 physician assistants and the data were collected to the point of saturation. Grounded theory methodology was adopted for data collection and analysis. The results of qualitative analysis in the field of the parents' decisionmaking on the DAMA revealed 4 main themes: "lack of family-centered care", "disruption of the parenting process", "distrust to the medical team and center" and "psychological strategy of shirk responsibility for child care and treatment ". By providing family-centered care, adopting measures to empowering the families, developing the trust of parents to the health care team and developing a discharge plan from the beginning of children hospitalization with the cooperation of health care team and parents and considering all factors such as child's special health condition and parent's health related perceptions and beliefs, children will not be discharged against medical advice and will experience better outcomes.

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