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Meeting the emotional needs of parents who have a child with complex needs

Meeting the emotional needs of parents who have a child with complex needs

Narramore, Naomi (2008) Meeting the emotional needs of parents who have a child with complex needs. Journal of Children'�s and Young People's Nursing, 2 (3). pp. 103-107. ISSN 1753-1594

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Abstract

The physical and financial demands of caring for a child with complex needs are acknowledged by health professionals. However, the emotional needs of parents are not often recognized by health professionals until parents are at a heightened level of stress.
This paper is based on a literature review of current articles, research papers and government documentation. The focus is on the emotional impact to parents who have a child with complex needs, particularly at the point of diagnosis. The paper explores how health professionals, and nurses in particular, should meet the emotional needs of parents in order to support them more effectively.
Giving birth to a child with severe health problems impacts upon parents at an emotional time of transition, particularly if there were no concerns identified during pregnancy. For some parents a grief response or state of chronic sorrow may be triggered. The reality of caring for a baby who is critically ill or disabled can be an enormous and unexpected shock for both parents. Parents need emotional support and guidance, as they may have to change their expectations for their child’s development and even life span. It is important for nurses to realise that if parents’ emotional needs are unmet it can lead to clinical depression or mental illness.
Primary support often comes from parent support groups rather than health professionals. The review highlights factors affecting parents’ emotions and discusses how early support, home visits and practical help can all help to alleviate parents’ emotional stress.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Publication already saved in 2007 0047
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, complex needs, parents’ emotions, emotional support, early support
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Family Care & Mental Health Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:06
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2282

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