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Assisting teens with asthma to take command.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing.
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, Vol. 20, no 2, 193-201 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To meet and work with teenagers may be a challenge for caregivers as adolescence is a period when youths try to establish autonomy. Although asthma is an increasing problem worldwide, few studies have addressed professional caregivers' motives and actions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe professional caregivers' strategies in their work with teenagers with asthma. Grounded theory, inspired by Glaser, was used to uncover the phenomenon. The informants were seven professional caregivers who worked at an eight-day asthma camp for teenagers in Sweden. Participant observations and interviews were used, and the first author collected the data and participated in the activities. Findings show that professional caregivers' core concern is to assist teenagers with asthma to take command. This core concern gives rise to five strategies: showing respect, being at hand, promoting own responsibility, promoting to exceed boundaries and promoting reflections. In professional caregivers' attempt to assist teenagers to take command some differences are seen in the way they support boys and girls. One conclusion drawn from our study is that the provisional theory of 'Assisting teenagers with asthma to take command' is not only suitable for professional caregivers working at asthma camps; it may, in some degree, also be used as a source of inspiration for professional caregivers in other settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 20, no 2, 193-201 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-27067DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2006.00389.xPubMedID: 16756525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-27067DiVA: diva2:276016
Available from: 2009-11-10 Created: 2009-11-10 Last updated: 2009-11-10
In thesis
1. Skydda och frigöra: en studie av föräldrar till barn med astma och av professionella vårdare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skydda och frigöra: en studie av föräldrar till barn med astma och av professionella vårdare
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Protecting and liberating : a study of parents of children with asthma and professional caregivers
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim of this thesis is, from the point of view of parents of a child with asthma, to describe meanings of being a parent, parents’ quality of life, and to describe how family relations are influenced by their child’s disease. The aim is also to increase the understanding of what strategies professional caregivers use in their work with teenagers suffering from asthma.

Methods: Informants in the three qualitative studies were 29 parents (17 mothers and 12 fathers) of children with asthma and 7 professional caregivers. Informants in a quantitative quality of life study were 371 parents. The data collections were undertaken by means of interviews, observations and a questionnaire. The data was analysed by means of a phenomenological-hermeneutic method, grounded theory and statistics.

Results: A meaning of being a parent of a child with asthma is to live a strenuous life and to fear that the child might die during a severe asthma attack. The parents’ actions involve both protecting and liberating and their feelings involve sadness as well as acceptance. Mostly the mothers act in a protecting manner and express feelings of sadness. The fathers mostly act in a liberating manner and express feelings of acceptance. The core concern in families of a child with asthma was found to be disease-engendered uncertainty. The mothers describe that feelings of uncertainty always are present owing to the unpredictability of the disease. These feelings make the mothers more or less available for family members. For the child with asthma the mothers’ experience that they are always available. Thus, control and tight bonds characterize the mother-child relationships. The mothers’ constant availability for the child with asthma is experienced to lead to a decreased availability for other family members and theses relationships are characterised by feelings of forsakenness and lack of understanding. However, when parents of children with asthma estimate their quality of life by a questionnaire, they estimate it as comparatively high. In the same family the parents scoring of separate items was to a large extent similar. The result also shows that professional caregivers’ central concern is to assist teenagers with asthma to conquer life. This gives rise to five strategies: showing respect, being at hand, promoting personal sense of responsibility, promoting exceeding boundaries, and promoting reflections. In professional caregivers’ attempt to assist teenagers to conquer life some differences are seen in the way they support boys and girls.

Conclusion: One conclusion drawn from this thesis is that being a parent of a child with asthma involves feelings of uncertainty. In meeting the parents in question, caregivers should reflect upon these feelings and consider how the parents could be assisted. As mothers and fathers describe different attitudes in relation to the care of the child, it is also important to reflect upon how professional caregivers can assist the balance between the mothers’ protecting and the fathers’ liberating attitudes. It is also important for professional caregivers to reflect upon how they meet teenage girls and boys with asthma respectively, and to take their needs and understanding of the situation into consideration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Omvårdnad, 2005. 87 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 948
Keyword
Nursing, parent, asthma, gender, family relations, uncertainty, strategies, professional caregivers, adolescence, phenomenological research, grounded theory, quality of life, Omvårdnad
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-497 (URN)91-7305-840-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-04-14, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-09 Created: 2005-04-09 Last updated: 2009-11-10Bibliographically approved

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