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Korean Journal of Child Health Nursing 2001;7(4):421-433.
The Lived Experience of Mothers of Children with Muscular Dystrophy.
Sang Eun Oh
Department of Nursing, Medical School, Chonnam National University, Chonnam Research Institute of Nursing Science, Korea.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of mothers of children with muscular dystrophy. The participants were 11 mothers recruited by snowball sampling, who agreed with the objectives of the research and could verbally communicate with the researcher and who lived with their sons who had muscular dystrophy. Data collection was done through in-depth interviews with participants in their own homes. Each interview took 50 to 120 minutes. All of the interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) method of phenomenology. From the transcripts 109 significant sentences and phrases were selected and 13 clusters of themes were categorized from 67 significant statements. These results were integrated into the essential structure of the lived experience of mothers of children with muscular dystrophy. 1.Anxious and relying on chance due to indefinite diagnosis. 2. Only able to cry with shock because of son's fatal disease. 3.Seeing the future as dismal and feeling resentment that this disease in transmitted through the mother. 4.Feeling caught between a husband who is distancing himself from his family and the family which is disintegrating. The author would like to thank Dr. Kasil Oh at Yonsei University, College of Nursing for her guidance, 5.Feeling like a sinner for transmission of genetic disease(Feeling guilt for conceiving a son with a genetically transmitted fatal disease). 6. Empathizing with other suffers of muscular dystropy and their parents in their grief and helping to dissipate their heavy feelings. 7. Deciding to sacrifice self as a way of taking responsibility for giving birth to a handicapped son. 8.Losing hope (feeling despair) as son's condition deteriorates in spite of all attempts to help him. 9.Wishing to die with son who becomes progressively immobile. 10. Accumulating Han, because of rising Hwa(anger), and becoming sick both mentally and physically. 11.Seeing events as destiny and finding self-control through faith. 12.Finally, giving up sacrificing self for son and becoming concerned(involved) with other children in the family. 13.Feeling fear at son's impending death. This is the first research on the experience of Korean mothers of children with muscular dystrophy. In applying the phenomenology research method, this study not only helps health professionals understand the experience of these mothers in the Korean patriarchal social system, but the researcher, as a nurse, can share their agony and grief through identification of their inner world through in-depth personal interviews. The results obtained in this study will not only help in the development of family nursing practice for families with genetically transmitted diseases but also prepare basic data for family nursing practice in the Korean sociocultural context.
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