A meta-ethnographic study of fathers' experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting illness

Title

A meta-ethnographic study of fathers' experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting illness

Creator

Postavaru GI; Swaby H; Swaby R

Publisher

Palliative Medicine

Date

2020

Subject

children; Palliative care; life-limiting; fathers; healthcare; meta-ethnography

Description

BACKGROUND: There is a growing body of qualitative studies examining parents' experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition, coinciding with recent evidence that indicates an increasing incidence of paediatric life-limiting conditions. However, research focusing on fathers' needs remains sparse and is often diluted among a predominant 'mother's voice', raising questions about whether practices in clinical settings meet fathers' needs. AIM: To provide an in-depth assembly of the current state of knowledge around fathers' experiences of caring for their children diagnosed with life-limiting conditions and understand the implications for healthcare services and policies. DESIGN: A meta-ethnography was conducted to synthesise findings from existing qualitative studies exploring fathers' experiences of caring. DATA SOURCES: Four electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Science Direct) were searched up until April 2020. Qualitative studies exploring fathers' care experience and published in English language were included. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist was employed for study quality appraisal. No temporal limits were used. RESULTS: Sixty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Thirty life-limiting conditions were included. Based on responses from 496 fathers, a conceptual model was developed which translates key experiences within the fathers' caregiving journeys. The overarching concepts identified were: the paradox of support, challenges in the caring process, 'nobody thinks of men', impact on family life and the fall of the curtain: an irrevocably altered world. These and associated sub-concepts are discussed, with recommendations for future research and practice provided. CONCLUSION: The findings indicate the value of a family-oriented approach to develop psychosocial interventions and support channels for fathers, thus empowering them whilst reducing the care-giving burden on the family unit.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

February 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Postavaru GI; Swaby H; Swaby R, “A meta-ethnographic study of fathers' experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting illness,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 22, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17428.

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