The purpose of this study is to describe the meaning of the lived experiences of caregivers of rural children with asthma In order to study the meaning of the experiences for caregivers of asthmatic children with moderate to severe asthma, it was essential that a qualitative methodology in order to explore contextual aspects of the participants’ lives, and the in-depth meaning of their experiences.
The research question was: What is the lived experience of caregivers of children with moderate to severe asthma? Sub-questions included: - What was their understanding of asthma? - How did they respond to their child’ symptoms? - How did their symptoms affected their siblings and spouse? - How did their care needs impact family communication and activities? - What was the impact of care needs on the child’s psychosocial development? - How the child and family response to negative stressors? - What was their perception of social support; and the kinds of support that were - available to them? - What was their perception of control over the management of symptoms? - What was their perception of the social and physical environmental factors affecting asthma symptom management.
The researcher’s primary goal was to learn the lived experience of families with children with asthma from the perspective of the participant. This narrowed the choice of qualitative methodologies to a phenomenological study. The overall intent of the phenomenological study was to learn the meanings that participants attributed to their experiences.
Four overall themes emerged from the study. The themes and sub-themes were: Uncertainty and fear (fear and helplessness; child might die; relief when the symptoms were under control; and long-term effects on the child’s life): Vigilance (potential triggers; early symptoms; emotional changes before the attack; medical regimen; consultation with the physician; and emotional control): Family impact (maternal focus of attention; effects of the hospitalization on child, siblings, and spouse; family social impacts; effects on the child and physical activities; caregivers’ employment; caregiver and child psychological impacts): Social support (spousal; sibling; and physician support).
Earlier studies had identified three primary themes: uncertainty and fear, vigilance, and family impacts. A fourth theme was identified in this study; that asthma is perceived as a chronic condition.
The results demonstrated that there is a need to address both the physiological and the developmental needs not only of the child with asthma but also the child’s family. The results also found that the majority of the caregivers might experience less stress if there were additional sources of social support.
|Commitee:||Lawrence, Catherine, Maltby, Hendrika, McCallion, Philip|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Behavioral Sciences, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Caregivers, Childhood asthma, Lived experience, Phenomenology, Psysocial, Rural|
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