Readiness for Hospital Discharge, Stress, and Coping in Mothers of Children Undergoing Cardiac Surgeries: A Single-Center Prospective Study


Poh PF, Lee JH, Loh YJ, Tan TH, Cheng KKF.Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2020 May;21(5):e301-e310. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002276.PMID: 32168300



Objectives: To examine the relationship between stress, coping, and discharge readiness in mothers of children undergoing congenital heart surgeries.

Design: Quantitative descriptive study at three time points: pre surgery (time point I), day of hospital discharge (time point II) and 2 weeks following discharge (time point III).

Setting: Tertiary care pediatric hospital in Singapore.

Participants: One hundred mothers whose children had undergone congenital heart surgeries.

Measurements and main results: Data collection included self-reported questionnaires of the Pediatric Inventory for Parents and the Coping Health Inventory for Parents across three time points. Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale was administered at hospital discharge (time point II). The utilization of health services and support was reported at post discharge (time point III). One-hundred mothers participated in this study between May 2016 and July 2017. Their mean age was 35.8 years (SD = 7.0), and the mean age of their children was 3.7 years (SD = 4.6). There was significant reduction in mean stress difficulty (Pediatric Inventory for Parents) of mothers (F = 4.58; p = 0.013) from time point I to III. No significant changes were found in the overall mean coping score (Coping Health Inventory for Parents) of mothers across time. The mean overall score for the readiness for discharge (Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale) of mothers at hospital discharge was 207.34 (SD = 29.22). Coping through family integration subscale and communication stress predicted discharge readiness of mothers (adjusted R = 0.11; p = 0.034). Mothers who reported higher overall stress (Pediatric Inventory for Parents) 2 weeks post discharge were more likely to call a friend or family member, visit the emergency department, or have their child readmitted to hospital following hospital discharge.

Conclusions: We identified coping by family integration and communication-related stress as predictors of readiness for discharge. Strategies targeted at communication and family integration for discharge preparation may improve caregivers’ readiness for hospital discharge.