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J Pediatr Nurs. 2008 Oct;23(5):372-85. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2007.08.001. Epub 2008 Apr 25.

The lived experience of fathers who have children with asthma: a phenomenological study.

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  • 1Center for Nursing Studies, St. John's, NL, Canada.


Asthma is a common chronic illness of childhood and a major cause of school absenteeism and hospitalization. When a child is diagnosed with asthma, parents become responsible for the long-term management of a chronic condition that is characterized by unpredictable and irregular episodes. Much of the research concerning parenting children who have asthma had focused on mothers. Paternal experiences in caring for a child with asthma have received little attention. In this phenomenological study, van Manen's (Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy. The Althouse Press: London, ON) method of inquiry was used to explore the lived experience of fathers who have children with asthma. Eight fathers with children aged between 7 and 11 years who had been diagnosed with asthma were interviewed. Five themes were identified: feeling relief in knowing the diagnosis, learning the ropes, being vigilant, living with concern, and being comfortable with asthma management. Understanding the experience of fathers who have children with asthma and gaining insight into their needs and concerns are essential first steps to providing supportive nursing care.

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