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Type: Journal article
Title: Experiences of Australian parents caring for children with asthma: it gets easier
Author: Barton, C.
Sulaiman, N.
Clarke, D.
Abramson, M.
Citation: Chronic Illness, 2005; 1(4):303-314
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 1742-3953
Abstract: Objective: To describe the experiences of Australian parents caring for children with asthma. Methods: A combination of random sampling, purposeful sampling and quota sampling was used to select care-givers from general practices in Melbourne's north and north-western suburbs. Data collection involved a single semi-structured in-depth interview with 21 parents caring for a child with asthma. Thematic analysis was aided by QSR NVivo. Results: Children experienced predominantly mild-to-moderate, episodic asthma. Six themes emerged from the interviews: emotions and behaviours, coping strategies, disruption to activities, health and treatment beliefs, problems with asthma management, and relationships with doctors. Parents' experiences and health beliefs impacted on their management of asthma. These may act as barriers to optimal asthma care in some families. The overriding theme to emerge was `it gets easier'. It got easier with time because the children could communicate more effectively, and were better able to take care of themselves, and their asthma became less severe or less of a problem. Discussion: This research has highlighted the need for health professionals to emphasize the chronic nature of asthma, but negotiate strategies with care-givers to optimize the use of asthma medications, with consideration being given to care-givers' fears, frustrations and health beliefs.
Keywords: Asthma; Care-givers; Health behaviours; Coping behaviour; Attitude to health
Description: Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications
RMID: 0020075974
DOI: 10.1177/17423953050010041201
Appears in Collections:General Practice publications

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