Experiences of fathers of children with a life-limiting condition: a systematic review and qualitative synthesis

Title

Experiences of fathers of children with a life-limiting condition: a systematic review and qualitative synthesis

Creator

Fisher V; Fraser L; Taylor J

Publisher

BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care

Date

2021

Subject

children; systematic review; life limiting conditions; paediatrics; fathers

Description

BACKGROUND: Children with a life-limiting condition often require extensive and complex care, much of which is provided by their parents at home. There is a growing body of research that aims to understand the experiences of these parents, but the majority of this research is from mothers' perspectives, meaning that fathers' experiences are not well understood. OBJECTIVES: To identify and synthesise findings from existing qualitative studies that have explored the experiences of fathers of children with a life-limiting condition. METHODS: A systematic review of qualitative research was conducted using thematic synthesis. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Social Science Citation Index. RESULTS: Findings from 30 studies were included, representing the experiences of 576 fathers of children with a range of diagnoses including cancer, cystic fibrosis, genetic and neurological conditions. Themes detailed fathers' experiences of uncertainty and shock around the time of their child's diagnosis, their accounts of a 'new normal', difficulties in discussing their emotions, forming relationships with and seeking support from professionals and working fathers' role conflicts. They discussed the life-changing nature of their child's diagnosis, an event that affected all aspects of their lives from everyday activities, to their relationships, spirituality, values and ambitions. CONCLUSIONS: Fathers experience many difficulties in response to their child's diagnosis and ongoing treatment. Findings highlight the need for healthcare professionals to recognise individual family dynamics and the evolving role of the father. Fathers' responses are not widely understood, and research that directly addresses their own well-being is warranted.

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

August 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Fisher V; Fraser L; Taylor J, “Experiences of fathers of children with a life-limiting condition: a systematic review and qualitative synthesis,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 3, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17625.

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