Caring for a Child with a Chronic Illness

Author(s): Teagle, R.

Department: Burren View CDC

Keywords: Children, Chronic Illness, Parents, Partnership, Information, Education

(31 Jul 2009)
Recent advances in medicine and health care have significantly reduced childhood mortality rates resulting in childhood chronic illness becoming synonymous within today's society. Childhood chronic illness impedes on family life as a functioning unit as the impact of the illness disturbs the integrity and well-being of the family. Parents have been identified within the literature as the primary source of care for the child and this review aims to highlight the burden of care in relation to parental experiences of stress and chronic sorrow.

The literature revealed conflicting results in respect of parental perceptions to partnership in Gare as opposed to those enacted in nursing practice. Partnership is deemed as crucial in supporting parents and fundamental to our role as nurses. Partnership is pivotal to the planning and delivery of care to chronically ill children.

Parents perceived their need for infom1ation and respite care as vital in assisting them in caring for a chronically ill child. It helped to reduce the challenges of caring, with nurses playing an instrumental role in the provision of accurate and timely information and in the organisation and provision of respite care.

It is widely recognised that dedication, vigilance, knowledge and skill are required by parents caring for children with chronic conditions, may we base our interventions as nurses on the understanding that the recommendations forwarded in this review are vital to improving research, education and practice within the speciality of paediatric care.


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