P. Lešnik Musek
Klinični oddelek za otroško, mladostniško in razvojno nevrologijo, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center, Ljubljana, Slovenija
The article describes the effects of medical treatment in various health institutions in terms of the stress experienced by children and adolescents. It discusses possible causes of stress and factors that have an impact on children’s experience of stress and on their coping strategies. The child’s cognitive development is highlighted as an important factor influencing his understanding and experiencing medical procedures, with key characteristics presented from the period of infancy to adolescence. Parental stress and reactions of parents are also described, with special attention to parental behaviours that enhance children’s coping abilities. In the last part of the article, the role of nurses/medical technicians as key contact people in medical institutions is discussed, especially in reducing children’s stress during medical procedures. In this context, the importance of planned preparation of children and adolescents before medical treatment is emphasized.
Key words: children, medical treatment, developmental stage.