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20-12-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2018

Family Coping During Hospitalization of Children with Chronic Illnesses

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2018
Auteurs:
Laura Nabors, Jodi Finchum Cunningham, Myia Lang, Kelsi Wood, Shawna Southwick, Cathleen Odar Stough

Abstract

Information about family coping when a child with a chronic illness is hospitalized for procedures related to his or her illness is needed. The current research presents the results of two pilot studies designed to assess family resilience and coping, during a hospitalization for medical procedures for a child with a chronic condition. Sixty-one parents participated in the first study and reported on their child’s hospital experiences and completed a survey designed to assess family coping. Twelve mothers and one grandmother completed interviews examining their perceptions of their coping, siblings’ coping, and coping of the child with an illness for study two. Results of Study 1 indicated parents’ perceived the family as resilient. Cognitive strategies were used to see the hospital stay as positive for the child or to accept what had to occur as having the possibility of improving the child’s life. Some of the mothers mentioned financial stress as being difficult for the family. Results of Study 2 also supported resilient functioning for mothers, siblings, and children with illnesses. Mothers reported they stayed strong for their child. Siblings could serve as protectors, helpers, and companions and were described as adapting well. Children with illnesses used distraction (e.g., play, art, music) to facilitate their coping. Findings of this study indicated parents perceived the family as coping well and supporting the child with an illness. Future research will need to assess perceptions of siblings and fathers and assess family members’ perspectives at different times over the course of children’s illnesses.

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