The Process of Psychological Strength and Changes in Japanese Mothers Having Children with Chromosomal Abnormalities

Monday, 30 July 2012

Hidechika Iino, MEco, RN
Department of Nursing, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan
Kumiko Tsujino, PhD, RN
Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss the psychological process in Japanese mothers having children with chromosomal abnormalities.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the psychological changes in Japanese mothers having children with chromosomal abnormalities.

Purpose: Drotar's hypothetical model explained the birth of children with congenital abnormalities as being of crisis, and the model is of clinical benefit in the understanding of mothers' various reactions after birth. However the model does have certain vaguenesses, for example whether or not parental attachment to children is dependent or not on an anomaly being present. 

To investigate psychological changes in mothers nurturing their children with chromosomal abnormalities in Japan, in relation to Drotar's model. 

Methods: Face to face or phone interviews were used to conduct this study every 4-6 months to investigate changes mother's psychological reactions and strength of these. Fifteen mothers who had children with chromosomal abnormalities were recruited through purposive sampling. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze the data about psychological reactions.

Results: The appearance ratio ranking of mothers’ psychological reactions included: ‘Shock (100%), ‘Denial’ (53%), ‘Sadness’ (40%), ‘Why should I?’ (40%), ‘Remorse’ (33%), ‘Death wish’ (20%), ‘Anger’ (13%), and ‘Confusion in thinking’ (7%). Every mother showed crisis reaction, or a ‘Shock’ reaction, soon after birth or when she was told possibility of fetal abnormality before birth. Some mother also showed ‘Shock’ reactions when they had provided a definitive diagnosis again. Changed reactions of ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Sadness’ were associated with invasive procedures for child. Our data showed Japanese mothers’ psychological changes and strength were different from Drotar’s hypothetical model.

Conclusion: The results of this study provide essential knowledge that will assist the support mothers through perinatal to school age based on psychological changes.

This research was partially supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 23593361, 2011 (H.I), and research (B), 21390568, 2009 (S.K).