Voices Of Parents: The Lived Experience Of Caring For A Child With A Life-Threatening and Life-Limiting Diagnosis Within Existing Social Policies
Four themes emerged that illuminated and provided a fuller understanding of the lived experiences of parenting a child with a lifelimiting and lifethreatening diagnosis. The initial theme, Mother as Caregiver, described the profound effect that assuming the caregiving role had on the lives of these mothers. The theme, Respite and Coping, explored and identified the overwhelming need for parents to obtain relief through respite, so they could parent better. The third theme, Surviving Past Expectancy, explained how their child, outliving their initial diagnosis, placed yet another new stress and burden on the family. The final theme, Getting Everyone on the Same Page, described frustrations parents experienced on a regular basis trying to find services and then act as coordinator for their child and family.
This study provided a unique and valuable optic to an untapped data source, which until now has remained silent. Results demonstrate the significance and meaning of the identified themes and their interrelatedness, and the study concludes with a discussion of the findings and policy implications. The main findings were the untapped resilience and strength of each participant, the uniqueness of each of their stories, and the reality that the harms associated with having a child with a lifelimiting and lifethreatening diagnosis can certainly be lessened through social polices that direct the provision and access to pediatric palliative care services to all who require them. A researchedbased understanding of the lived experience and the contextual nature of parents perceptions provides policymakers, politicians, and health care professionals an opportunity to offer specialized services and programs to children with lifelimiting and lifethreatening diagnosis and their families.
Advisor:Henry, Carol; Smadu, Marlene; Wason-Ellam, Linda; Bertman, Sandra; Donnelly, G.; Backman, A.
School:University of Saskatchewan
School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:life limiting diagnois social policies nursing threatening palliative care children
Date of Publication:06/05/2008