An exploration of parents' experiences of having an infant who requires surgery using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Hind, Ruth A. (2014) An exploration of parents' experiences of having an infant who requires surgery using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Each year approximately 11% of infants who are born will require extra care, which often results in admission to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). For some of these infants extra care will include surgery. Research to date has focused on the experiences of parents of infants in the NICU, with less known about parents’ experiences of infant surgery. NICU admission is often characterised as a time of significant stress and distress for parents. For parents of surgical infants there may be additional stressors, including the required transfer between the maternity and children’s hospitals for surgery. The management of transfers between hospitals for this vulnerable population is increasingly topical in view of the establishment of the neonatal managed clinical networks in the United Kingdom, which will result in increased movement of infants between hospitals providing neonatal care at different levels.

To explore the experiences of parents who have an infant that requires surgery and transfer between hospitals. To explore how parents cope with this experience.

This qualitative study was conducted and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach. Purposive sampling was used to recruit a relatively homogenous sample. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five parents.

The results of this study suggest that the experience of having an infant who requires surgery is particularly challenging for parents. Five superordinate themes were identified that represented parents’ experiences: being told – the psychological impact of diagnosis; living on the ward; becoming a parent to a critically ill baby; coping and facing the future.

The findings of this study have implications for clinicians, policy makers and service managers who are involved in the delivery and design of services that care for infants who require surgery and their families. In light of the limited research that has been conducted in this area, suggestions are made for future research that will enhance service provision for these families.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: parental experience, infant surgery
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Alison, Dr. Jackson
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Ms Ruth A Hind
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5601
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 13:41
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2014 14:54

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