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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 (2007) Meeting the emotional needs of parents who have a child with complex needs. In: The emotional management of parents who give birth to a child with a disability or critical illness International Conference, 21-22 May 2007, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. (Unpublished)

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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 recognised 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 how health professionals, and nurses in particular should meet the emotional needs of parents who have child with complex needs, particularly at the point of diagnosis.
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. Primary support often comes from parent support groups rather than health professionals. The review discusses how home visits, practical help and early support can all help to alleviate stress.
It is important for nurses to realise that if parents’ emotional needs are unmet they can lead to clinical depression or mental illness. This literature review looks at the emotional impact on parents and explores how nurses can address this issue in order to support parents more effectively. It identifies key areas that nurses could address that would help alleviate parents’ emotional stress.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, complex needs parents’ emotions, emotional support, early support Parents' emotions
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
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 09:07
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2583

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