Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Sleep Research




School of Nursing and Midwifery / Centre for Precision Health




Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office in Western Australia, Nursing Research Department at Perth Children's Hospital School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia Perth Children's Hospital Foundatio


Smith, S., Tallon, M., Smith, J., Angelhoff, C., & Mörelius, E. (2022). Parental sleep when their child is sick: A phased principle-based concept analysis. Journal of sleep research, e13575.


Sleep is a common challenge for parents with sick children and can impact parents' health, wellbeing, and caregiving responsibilities. Despite the vast research around parental sleep when their child is sick, the concept is not clearly defined. A phased principle-based concept analysis that includes triangulation of methods and quality criteria assessment was used to explore how the concept is described, used, and measured in the current literature. The aim was to analyse and clarify the conceptual, operational, and theoretical basis of parental sleep when their child is sick to produce an evidence-based definition and to identify knowledge gaps. A systematic literature search including databases CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PsychARTICLES, PsychINFO, Pubmed, Scopus and Web of Science, identified 546 articles. The final dataset comprised 74 articles published between 2005 and 2021 and was assessed using a criteria tool for principle-based concept analysis. Data were managed using NVivo, and thematic analysis was undertaken. A precise definition is not present in the literature. Various tools have been used to measure parents' sleep, as well as exploration via interviews, open-ended questions, and sleep diaries. The terminology used varied. Parental sleep when their child is sick is interrelated with other concepts (e.g., stress). A recommended definition is offered. A conceptual understanding of parental sleep when their child is sick will help to guide translational research and to conduct studies critical to clinical practice and research. Future research includes developing a measurement tool for parental sleep when their child is sick to be used in study design and future interventions.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.