Psychosocial Challenges for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Qualitative Study
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Care of a child with cerebral palsy is a source of tension and struggle for parents and causes many problems in meeting the child’s needs. Therefore, this study was performed to explore the experiences of parents who have children with cerebral palsy. This qualitative study was conducted in 2011–2012 using content analysis through purposeful sampling and by participation of 17 Iranian parents (27–59 years old) of children with cerebral palsy who were referred to the rehabilitation centers in Tehran. The data were gathered by an in-depth semi-structured interview. All of the interviews were transcribed and analyzed inductively. The content analysis revealed four subcategories, “inadequate facilities and services,” “unsupportive interactions,” “limitation of parents’ social relations,” and “social seclusion of the child and parent,” in the category of social challenges, and three subcategories, “intrapersonal conflicts,” “being worried,” and “sense of loneliness,” in the category of psychoemotional challenges. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy exposes the parents to challenges, some of which are related to the nature of the child’s disease, and some are due to a shortage of facilities and lack of attention to the parents’ needs. Therefore, to promote the parents’ health and provide better care services to the afflicted child, it is important to recognize the parents’ problems and remove such obstacles.
KeywordsChildren Cerebral palsy Parents Psychosocial challenges Content analysis
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