The approaches Hong Kong Chinese mothers adopt to teach their preschool children to prevent influenza: A multiple case study at household level

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
BMC Nursing, 2016, 15 (1)
Issue Date:
2016-09-01
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© 2016 The Author(s). Background: In Hong Kong, the population is at risk of seasonal influenza infection twice a year. Seasonal influenza is significantly associated with the increased hospitalization of children. Maintaining personal hygiene and vaccination are the most effective measures to prevent influenza infection. Research demonstrates a positive relationship between the health practices applied by parents and the behaviour of their children highlighting the importance of parental heath education. However, there is minimal research that provides an understanding of how Hong Kong Chinese parents teach their children to prevent seasonal influenza. Methods: Mixed methods research was undertaken that employed a multiple-case study approach to gain an understanding of parental teaching practices regarding seasonal influenza prevention. Purposive intensity sampling was adopted to recruit twenty parents and their healthy children. A thematic analysis was employed to examine the qualitative interview data and the quantitative survey data were examined descriptively. These data were then integrated to provide a more rigorous understanding of parental teaching strategies. Comparisons were made across cases to reveal commonalities and differences. Results: Five major themes were identified: processes parents used to teach personal hygiene; parent-child interaction during teaching; approaches to managing children's health behaviours; enhancing children's healthy practices; and parents' perspective of the role of the nurse in health promotion. Conclusions: This study provided valuable insight into the approach of Hong Kong Chinese parents in teaching their children to prevent seasonal influenza. The results indicate that parents can be better supported to develop effective strategies to teach their preschool children hygiene practices for seasonal influenza prevention. Partnerships with community nurses can play a role in building effective parent-child interactions to enhance children's learning and adoption of healthy practices.
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