Needs and expectations of adolescent in-patients: The experience of Gaslini Children's Hospital

Luisa Massimo, Nicoletta Rossoni, Francesca Mattei, Stefano Aurelio Bonassi, Daniela Caprino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adolescents affected by a severe disease who undergo high-risk treatment may experience stress, pain, extreme frustration, depression, and anger. In this large spectrum of emotions, several situations must be considered carefully. To improve coping and quality of services offered to adolescents in paediatric hospitals, we elaborated a semi-structured interview and a short questionnaire (Quality of life-adolescent-Istituto Giannina Gaslini, QoL-adol-IGG scale) to investigate the quality of life, the needs and expectations of adolescent in-patients. Methods: The study sample includes 117 in-patients aged between 10 and 20 years coming from several Italian regions who were admitted to the G. Gaslini Research Children's Hospital for a period of 10 days or more, regardless of the disease. The QoL-adol-IGG scale was administered - after obtaining informed consent from the children and their parents - in one single encounter by trained psychologist. The distribution of the answers was evaluated after stratification by patient's age, gender, area of residence, and clinical diagnosis. Continuous data were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis, while the χ2-test was used for categorical data. Results: Seventy-two percent had difficulty practicing normal daily activities during their stay in the hospital, not only because of the disease (40%), but also because of the poor organization within the hospital, the lack of proposals/activities and space for spare time, and the limited access to technologies. Adolescents ≥15 years were more frequently dissatisfied than youngsters concerning the access to Internet and other technologies, the possibility to make new friends and to take part in social activities. Conclusion: The results of this study, which evaluated the hospital's organization, but also psychological functioning in a representative sample of patients, may contribute to optimize internal procedures of clinical departments where adolescent in-patients are present, on the basis of their requests and taking into account their age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • adolescent
  • communication
  • coping
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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