Skydda och frigöra en studie av föräldrar till barn med astma och av professionella vårdare
Sammanfattning: 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.
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