Children's complex care needs: a systematic concept analysis of multidisciplinary language

Maria Brenner, Claire Kidston, Carol Hilliard, Imelda Coyne, Jessica Eustace-Cook, Carmel Doyle, Thelma Begley, Michael J Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Complex care in the arena of child health is a growing phenomenon. Although considerable research is taking place, there remains limited understanding and agreement on the concept of complex care needs (CCNs), with potential for ambiguity. We conducted a systematic concept analysis of the attributes, antecedents, and consequences of children's CCNs from a multidisciplinary perspective. Our data sources included PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO. Inclusion criteria included publications in peer-reviewed journals between January 1990 and December 2017, written in the English language. One hundred and forty articles were included. We found that children's CCNs refer to multidimensional health and social care needs, in the presence of a recognized medical condition or where there is no unifying diagnosis.Conclusion: Children's CCNs are individual and contextualized, are continuing and dynamic, and are present across a range of settings, impacted by family and healthcare structures. There remain extensive challenges to caring for these children and their families, precluding the possibility that any one profession can possess the requisite knowledge or scope to singularly provide high-quality competent care. What is Known: • Complex care is a growing phenomenon and population prevalence figures show that there is an increasing number of children with complex care needs (CCNs). However, the concept has not been systematically analyzed before, leaving it generally ill-defined and at times confusing. What is New: • This is the first time this concept has been systematically analyzed and this analysis provides a much-needed theoretical framework for understanding the multidimensional nature of CCNs in children. • Children's CCNs refer to multidimensional health and social care needs in the presence of a recognized medical condition or where there is no unifying diagnosis. They are individual and contextualized, are continuing and dynamic, and are present across a range of settings, impacted by family and healthcare structures. It is clear that the very nature of CCNs precludes the possibility that any one profession or discipline can possess the requisite knowledge or scope for high-quality competent care for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1652
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume177
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease/therapy
  • Delivery of Health Care/methods
  • Family
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Long-Term Care/methods
  • Quality of Health Care

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