Cerebral palsy: experiences of mothers after learning their child's diagnosis

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Title Cerebral palsy: experiences of mothers after learning their child's diagnosis
Author Huang, Yu-Ping; Kellett, Ursula Marie; St John, Winsome
Journal Name Journal of Advanced Nursing
Editor Alison Tierney
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Abstract Aim. This study is a report of a study describing mothers' experience of learning that their child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Background. Learning a child's diagnosis of disability is a crisis for parents. Their reactions include shock, refusal to accept the diagnosis, anger, fear, and uncertainty about the extent of disability and associated impairment. Knowledge about parental reactions is based on studies conducted in western countries, many of which do not apply to Taiwan where Confucianism strongly influences cultural perspectives of family and disability. Method. In this phenomenological study, data were collected in 2005–2006 using in-depth interviews and journaling with 15 Taiwanese mothers of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Hermeneutic analysis was undertaken of interview transcripts and journal notes. Findings. Four shared meanings associated with learning of their child's diagnosis were revealed: feeling out of control and powerless, mistrusting healthcare professionals, release and confirmation, and feeling blamed for not following traditional practices. Mothers experienced a loss of their 'ideal' child when their child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Expectations of 'normal' motherhood and fulfilling societal anticipation of giving birth to a healthy child were lost. Maintaining their husband's family honour and prosperity, as well as saving face in their community were threatened. Mixed feelings of disbelief, rejection, self-blame and sadness were compounded by uncertainty about their child's future. Conclusion. To promote better understanding of the child's condition, emotional support and information should be provided to the mother and family, both when informing them of the diagnosis and in the period after diagnosis.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05270.x
Copyright Statement Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Cerebral palsey: Experiences of after learning their child's diagnosis, Journal of Advanced Nursing Volume 66, Issue 6, 2010, 1213-1221, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05270.x.
Volume 66
Issue Number 6
Page from 1213
Page to 1221
ISSN 0309-2402
Date Accessioned 2010-08-24
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Menzies Health Institute Qld; Population and Social Health Research Program
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Clinical Nursing: Tertiary (Rehabilitative)
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/34152
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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