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Korean Journal of Child Health Nursing 1998;4(2):207-220.
Maternal Uncertainty in Childhood Chronic Illness.
Eun Sook Park, M I Martinson
The purpose of this study was to build a substantive theory about the experience of the maternal uncertainty in childhood chronic illness. The qualitative research method used was grounded theory. The interviewees were 12 mothers who have cared for a child who had chronic illness. The data were collected through in-depth interviews with audiotape recording done by the investigator over a period of nine months. The data were analyzed simultaneously by a constant comparative method in which new data were continuously coded into categories and properties according to Strauss and Corbin's methodology. The 34 concepts were identified as a result of analyzing the grounded data. Ten categories were lack of clarity, unpredictability, unfamiliarity, negative change, anxiety, devotion, normalization and burn-out. Causal conditions included : lack of clarity, unpredictability, unfamiliarity and change ; central phenomena : anxiety, being perplexed ; context : seriousness of illness, support ; intervening condition : belief ; action/interaction strategies : devotion, overprotection ; consequences : normalization, burn-out. These categories were synthesized into the core concept-anxiety. The process of experiencing uncertainty was 1) Entering the world of uncertainty, 2) Struggling in the tunnel of uncertainty, 3) Reconstruction of the situation of uncertainty. Four hypotheses were derived from the analysis : (1) The higher the lack of clarity, unpredictability, unfamiliarity, change, the higher the level of uncertainty (2) The more serious the illness and the less the support, the higher the level of uncertainty. (3) The positive believes will influence the devoted care and normalization of the family life. Through this substantive theory, pediatric nurses can understand the process of experiencing maternal uncertainty in childhood chronic illness. Further research to build substantive theories to explain other uncertainties may contribute to a formal theory of how normalization is achieved in the family with chronically ill child.
Key words: Mother of chronically ill child; Perceived uncertainty; Grounded theory
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