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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Parental post-operative medication administration: investigating predictors of attitude Pillai, Rebecca R.E.


The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was used as a theoretical framework to elucidate the roles of beliefs and attitudes in the parental management of paediatric post-surgical pain. In essence, the TPB states that beliefs predict attitude, attitude predicts intention and intention predicts behaviour. Over the past 25 years, researchers have used this model to examine the extent to which attitudes (mediated by intention) predict behaviour. The evidence indicates that parents with negative attitudes will tend to undermedicate their children. However, that is not enough. To improve the in-home management of children's post-operative pain, researchers and clinicians need to understand why some parents have negative attitudes towards pain medications. This thesis set out to determine if various factors, aside from beliefs, could reliably predict a parent's attitude toward administering pain medication to their child. Archival data from 236 parents who had a child undergoing day surgery at British Columbia's Children's Hospital were used. As anticipated by the TPB, it was found that the belief-based measure was a significant predictor of attitude. But contrary to expectations, variables relating to the parents' personal experiences with surgery were stronger predictors of attitude. These findings will aid in bridging the gap between the theory and practice of paediatric pain management.

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