Advertisement

Being a mother of a critically sick child: issues for nursing practice and research

Chapter
  • 17 Downloads

Abstract

Having to cope with sudden and critical illness in a child is considered to be one of the most stressful of all parenting experiences, yet the nursing literature contains few qualitative accounts of how mothers cope with this crisis. This study aimed to describe ten mothers’ experiences of crisis, coping and nursing following their child’s emergency admission to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Using a qualitative grounded theory approach, data were elicited through focused interviews with ten mothers. Four research questions were considered:
  1. 1.

    What are the physical needs of parents?

     
  2. 2.

    What are the psychological needs of parents?

     
  3. 3.

    To what extent are the physical and psychological needs of parents being met?

     
  4. 4.

    To what extent are parents involved in the care of their child?

     
Findings reveal that mothers could clearly identify their needs. They felt that their physical needs were met but that their psychological care was inconsistent. Mothers were involved in various aspects of caring for their children. Issues for nursing practice and research are highlighted.

Keywords

Critical Illness Parental Stress Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Nursing Practice Sick Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aamodt A. (1991) ‘Ethnography and epistemology: generating nursing knowledge’. In Morse J. (ed.) Qualitative Nursing Research. A Contemporary Dialogue, London, Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Callery P. and Smith L. (1991) ‘A study of role negotiation between nurses and the parents of hospitalised children’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 16: 772–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Carnevale F. (1990) ‘A description of stressors and coping strategies among parents of critically ill children–a preliminary study’, Intensive Care Nursing 6: 4–11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Carter M. and Miles M. (1982) ‘Parental stressor scale’, Nursing Research 31 (2): 121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox P. (1992) ‘Children in critical care: how parents cope’, British Journal of Nursing 1 (15): 764–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Curley M. and Wallace J. (1992) ‘Effects of the nursing mutual participation model of care on parental stress in the pediatric intensive care unit–a replication’, Journal of Paediatric Nursing 7 (6): 377–85.Google Scholar
  7. Department of Health (1992) The Patient’s Charter, London, HMSO.Google Scholar
  8. Department of Health (1994) The Greenhalgh Report: The Interface Between Junior Doctors and Nurses. A Research Study for the Department of Health, London, HMSO.Google Scholar
  9. Department of Health (1996) The Patient’s Charter: Services for Children and Young People, London, HMSO.Google Scholar
  10. Dewe P. (1987) ‘Identifying strategies nurses use to cope with work stress’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 12: 489–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Evans M. (1994) ‘An investigation into the feasibility of parental participation in the nursing care of their children’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 20: 477–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Field P. (1991) ‘Doing fieldwork in your own culture’. In Morse J. (ed.) Qualitative Nursing Research. A Contemporary Dialogue, London, Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Gemke R., Bonsel G. and van Vught A. (1995) ‘Long-term survival and state of health after paediatric intensive care’, Archives of Disease in Childhood 73: 196–201.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Haines C., Perger C. and Nagy S. (1995) ‘A comparison of the stressors experienced by parents of intubated and non-intubated children’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 21: 350–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hammersley M. and Atkinson P. (1992) Ethnography Principles in Practice, London, Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Heuer L. (1993) ‘Parental stressors in a pediatric intensive care unit’, Pediatric Nursing 19 (2): 128–31.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Jay S. and Youngblut J. (1991) ‘Parent stress associated with pediatric critical care nursing: linking research and practice’, American Association of Critical-care Nurses 2 (2): 276–84.Google Scholar
  18. LaMontagne L., Hepworth J., Pawlak R. and Chiafery M. (1992) ‘Parental coping and activities during pediatric critical care’, American Journal of Critical Care 1: 76–80.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. LaMontagne L., Johnson B. and Hepworth J. (1995). ‘Evolution of parental stress and coping processes: a framework for critical care practice’, Journal of Pediatric Nursing 10 (4): 212–18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Miles M., Carter M., Riddle I., Hennessey J. and Eberly T. (1989) ‘The pediatric intensive care unit environment as a source of stress for parents’, Maternal Child Health Journal 18 (3): 199–206.Google Scholar
  21. Morse J. (ed.) (1991) ‘Strategies for sampling’. In Qualitative Nursing Research. A Contemporary Dialogue, London, Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Noyes J. (1996) The experiences of mothers of children admitted as an emergency to the intensive care unit: an exploratory, qualitative study. Unpublished MSc thesis, University of Manchester.Google Scholar
  23. Noyes J. (1998) ‘A critique of studies exploring the experiences and needs of parents of children admitted to paediatric intensive care units’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 28 (1): 134–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Noyes J. (1999) ‘The impact of knowing your child is critically ill: a qualitative study of mothers’ experiences’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 29 (2): 427–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Paediatric Intensive Care Society (1996) Standards for Paediatric Intensive Care, Saldatore.Google Scholar
  26. Purcell C. (1993) ‘Holistic care of a critically sick child’, Intensive and Critical Care Nursing 9: 108–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Rennick J. (1995) ‘The changing profile of acute childhood illness: a need for the development of family nursing knowledge’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 22: 258–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Royal College of Nursing (1992) Paediatric Nursing: A Philosophy of Care, London, RCN.Google Scholar
  29. United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (1992) Code of Professional Conduct ( 3rd edn ), London, UKCC.Google Scholar
  30. Williams A. (1991) ‘Practical ethics: interpretative processes in an ethnography of nursing’. In Aldridge S., Griffiths V. and Williams A. (eds) Rethinking Feminist Research Processes Reconsidered, Feminist Praxis, Monograph 33, Manchester, University of Manchester.Google Scholar

Suggested further reading

  1. Darbyshire P. (1994) Living with a Sick Child in Hospital: The Experiences of Parents and Nurses, London, Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Hazinski M. (1992) Nursing Care of the Critically Sick Child ( 2nd edn ), St Louis, Mosby Year Book.Google Scholar
  3. Kruger S. (1992) ‘Parents in crisis: helping them cope with a seriously ill child’, Journal of Pediatric Nursing 7 (2): 133–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Reed J. and Procter S. (eds) (1995) Practitioner Research in Health Care: The Inside Story, London, Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) 2000

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations