Thursday, July 22, 2004
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Thursday, July 22, 2004
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Posters I
Parenting a Child With Early Onset Childhood Bipolar Disorder: a Phenomenological Study
Josephine Wade, RN, MSN, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA and Sandra P. Thomas, RN, PhD, FAAN, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.

Purpose: The purpose is to describe the lived experience of parents and caretakers of school age children diagnosed with early onset Childhood Bipolar Disorder.

Design: The study is a qualitative design using the existential phenomenological method. A volunteer sample was recruited for non directive in depth taped interviews which ranged from two to three hours in length. The narratives were analyzed for common themes by the researcher and an interdisciplinary research team.

Population, Sample, Setting, Years: The study was conducted in 2003 with a population of parents or caregivers of children age 6-11 who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. The sample consists of 10 participants from two southern States in the USA.

Findings: Thematic analysis is in process and findings will be presented in March 2004. Preliminary findings include areas of parental resilience, frustration, anger, fear, problems with continuum of care, and lack of nursing contribution to care.

Implications: The past ten years have seen a significant rise in the number of children diagnosed with mood disorders and treated with psychiatric medications at an early age. This, combined with a changing political arena, means continued stress and burden for caregivers and parents of children diagnosed with chronic psychiatric illnesses. The phenomenon of the meaning of parenting a young child with Bipolar Disorder lacks both investigation and description in the nursing literature. This study is significant in that it is examined from the perspective of family nursing care for a chronically ill child. The findings will increase the level of understanding available to hospital, community, and school health nurses about parentís needs. In addition, this study will provide further insight into the interactions that the families have with the environment with implications for a wider audience of school, medical, psychiatric, social work, and psychological professionals.

Back to Posters I
Back to 15th International Nursing Research Congress
Sigma Theta Tau International
July 22-24, 2004