Origin of Stress in Caregiver of Asthmatic Children: A Qualitative Study

Monday, 30 July 2012

Sue-Hsien Chen, PhD
Nursing Department, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Keelung, Keelung, Taiwan
Yun-Fang Tsai, PhD, RN
Chang Gung University, School of Nursing, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan
Jing-Long Huang, MD
Department of Pediatric, Chung-Guang Memory Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Kuo-Wei Yeh, BS
Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: the experiences of caregivers living with children suffering from asthma in order to understand the aspects of their care causing them distress.

Learning Objective 2: the experiences of caregivers of asthmatic children to understand the stress on this specific population.

Purpose:  The study is to explore the experiences of caregivers of asthmatic children to understand the distress on this specific population.

Methods:  The study was exploratory and descriptive using a qualitative research interview approach. The primary caregivers of asthmatic children who visited the Allergy Clinics of two medical centers and one regional hospital in Northern Taiwan were recruited. An interview guide with semi-structured questionnaire was used. Verbatim transcripts of the audiotaped interviews were analysed by content analysis

Results:  A total of seventeen primary caregivers with asthmatic children participated in this study. All children were persistent asthmatic patients. Based on the primary caregivers’ experiences, major causes of distress comes from, namely, (1)feelings of uncertainty during illness, (2)chaos and instability, (3)social tension and conflict.

Conclusion: A lack of information about asthma and the unpredictability of the outcomes seem to impair the caregivers’ adaptation, which leads them to perceive that they cannot cope with the illness. The findings of this study should help health professionals to understand the distress among primary caregivers of asthmatic children.