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Original Research

The respect of children´s rights in a health promoting hospital

Author(s): Jenni Ikola-Mäki 1*, Heidi Pasonen 1, Sirpa Tuomi 1

1 JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Published by: JAMK-JHSS (2018)

Language of article: Finnish

Citation: Ikola-Mäki, J., Pasonen, H., Tuomi, S. (2018) Lapsen oikeuksien toteutuminen terveyttä edistävässä sairaalassa, JAMK Journal of Health and Social Studies, e18-e35.


Children´s rights in hospital are based on the United Nation´s convention of children´s rights. By respecting the rights of children, their participation and the culture of individual care in family nursing are enhanced. The purpose of the study was to describe how children´s rights were respected in a health promoting hospital. The goal was to evaluate the situation by using the international Self-Evaluation Model and Tool on the respect of children´s rights in hospital (SEMT). The SEMT was developed in an international project that started in 2004. In Finland this model and tool have not been used before. The study was implemented as a quantitative survey by using the Webropol software.  The data was collected from the physicians and other care professionals of the children´s wards in the Central Finland Central Hospital.  According to the respondents, the main development targets were related to the need for education and a plan for a continuous evaluation of certain aspects of children´s rights (such as equal treatment opportunities and child welfare measures). Education was needed on children´s rights in hospital care, multicultural nursing, using play in nursing and examinations as well as on pain management and encountering a dying child. Moreover, the respondents wanted guidelines for how to respect children´s informed consent by taking into account their age and development level and thus improve their participation. Children´s participation in the development of the services and environment was also deemed important. The commitment of the organization to children´s rights should be made visible by, for example, making materials on children´s rights available for children. The organization should also be committed to continuous evaluation and quality assurance. The results of the thesis can be used in the development of the hospital´s family care and the consideration of children´s rights in the hospital units.