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Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2002 Jul-Sep;25(3):167-88.

Stress in families with medically fragile children.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawaii 98622, USA.


The literature related to the stress experienced by families who care for medically fragile children is analyzed. A model is generated from themes identified in the research literature. Four core themes were identified under which most of the stressors identified in the literature could be grouped. These are role conflict, financial burden, care burden, and independence. These are in turn arranged as a matrix in which the family, the child, the care professional, and health care system interact dynamically with the four core themes. The Family Stress/Task Matrix has the potential for facilitating research related to models that include a family-centered view among health professional and systems.

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