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The views and experiences of fathers regarding their young child's intellectual and developmental disability diagnosis: Findings from a qualitative study

Marsh, L., Brown, M. & McCann, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3548-4204 (2020). The views and experiences of fathers regarding their young child's intellectual and developmental disability diagnosis: Findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(17-18), pp. 3373-3381. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15368

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To report the views and experiences of fathers following their child's diagnosis of an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).

BACKGROUND: There is a growing interest in understanding the experiences of fathers of children with IDD given the transformation of the structural change of fathers' roles within the family and wider society.

DESIGN: A qualitative design was used to elicit the view and experiences of fathers.

METHODS: A total of ten Irish fathers participated in face-to-face interviews. The data were thematically analysed. The COREQ guidelines for reporting qualitative studies were used in the development of this paper.

RESULTS: The key themes that emerged were (a) the confirmation of the child's diagnosis (b) the impact of the diagnosis and (c) father's motivation to participate in disability research.

CONCLUSIONS: This study informs and develops a further understanding of the international evidence base of fathers receiving a confirmation of a child's diagnosis of an intellectual and developmental disability, the impact of the diagnosis on fathers and their motivation to share their stories to add to the disability research. Health and social care practitioners have important contributions to make in meeting the needs of fathers. There are specific areas to consider in terms of practice, education and research that require further attention and development to ensure fathers' distinct needs regarding their child's diagnosis of IDD are known and responded to effectively.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study highlights that when the child's disability is confirmed, fathers experience a diverse range of mixed emotions. Health and social care practitioners including nurses need to be aware of the impact of the diagnosis upon fathers. There is scope to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence of health and social care practitioners regarding the experiences of fathers and how they can further support fathers and their families during the critical time of a disability disclosure.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: children, diagnosis, education, families, fathers, intellectual and developmental disabilities
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
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