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Aim: The aim of this study was to increase understanding of parent–healthcare provider interaction in situations where newly admitted preschool children resist peripheral vein cannulation.

Background: Parent–healthcare provider interaction represents an important context for understanding children’s resistance to medical procedures. Knowledge about this interaction can provide a better understanding of how restraint is used and talked about. Symbolic interactionism informed the understanding of interaction.

Design: An exploratory, qualitative study was chosen because little is known about these interactions.

Methods: During 2012–2013, 14 naturalistic peripheral vein cannulation -attempts with six newly hospitalized preschool children were video recorded. Eight parents/relatives, seven physicians and eight nurses participated in this study. The analytical foci of turn-taking and participant structure were used.

Results: The results comprised three patterns of interactions. The first pattern, ‘parents supported the interaction initiated by healthcare providers’, was a response to the children’s expressed resistance and they performed firm restraint together. The second pattern, ‘parents create distance in interaction with healthcare providers’, appeared after failed attempts and had a short time span. Parents stopped following up on the healthcare providers’ interaction and their restraint became less firm. In the third pattern, ‘healthcare providers reorient in interaction’, healthcare providers took over more of the restraint and either helped each other to continue the interaction or they stopped it.

Conclusion: Knowledge about the identified patterns of interactions can help healthcare providers to better understand and thereby prepare both parents and themselves for situations with potential use of restraint.


Svendsen, E.J., Moen, A., Pedersen, R. and Bjørk, I.T. (2015) Parent–healthcare provider interaction during peripheral vein cannulation with resistive preschool children. Journal of Advanced Nursing. November 18th. .

DOI: 10.1111/jan.12852

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