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Background: Being the parent of a severely injured child involves many stressors throughout the trauma journey. Internationally, little is known about the experiences or levels of emotional distress, parenting stress, quality of life, and resilience for parents of injured children. The aim of this study is to investigate the experiences, unmet needs and outcomes of parents of physically injured children 0–12 years over the 2 year period following injury. Methods/design: This is a prospective longitudinal study using an embedded mixed methods design. This design has a primary qualitative strand which incorporates supplementary quantitative data on child quality of life, and parental quality of life, parenting stress, emotional distress, and resilience at four time points; the acute hospitalisation phase, and at 6, 12 and 24 months following injury. The primary sample are parents of injured children 0–12 years hospitalised in the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Primary data sources are child and parent demographic data; survey data; and semi-structured interview data across a 24 month period. Discussion: This study aims to address the existing gap in knowledge on the experiences and unmet support needs of parents in the 2 years following child injury to provide guidance for care provision for these families. There is a lack of evidence-based recommendations for supporting parents and families of injured children and strengthening their capacity to address the challenges they face.
Open Access Journal Article