Despite the fact that childhood asthma poses an important burden, especially on the families, little is known about the emotional experiences of mothers. This article describes the predominant emotional challenges and experiences reported by mothers of children with asthma.
Individual, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a qualitative study method was used in collection of the data. Face-to-face interviews with mothers of children with asthma were conducted using sociodemographic data form and semi-structured interview forms developed by the investigators. The transcribed interview texts were analyzed according to a qualitative content analysis.
A total of 20 mothers were interviewed. We found that the experience of mothers of the children with asthma was a strenuous journey of overriding an emotional rollercoaster, that is, from being thrown into a chaotic situation to later processing the difficult situation affected by the asthma. First moment at diagnosis, relaxation against uncertainties, anxiety, fear, truly acceptance, sadness were the predominant emotions. Mothers described experiences and challenges of frequent admission to emergency, administration of medication and treatments, school problems, limitations in physical activity and spouse relationship problems. Experiences of problems contributed to hopelessness, abandoned, angry and burnout. Mothers had concerns about the chronic nature of the disease, side effects of medications, complications that might develop, factors influencing the disease, and future plans.
Mothers of children with asthma described complex emotional journeys. This has implications for healthcare providers who need to be aware of the complexity of these emotional journeys to support parents more effectively, thereby helping improve patient outcomes. Parents should be trained for symptoms and disease management with a written action plan. It is imperative to realize multi-disciplinary team collaboration and to regularly review training and information. Future research should concentrate on promoting awareness, education, advocacy, and support for parents of asthmatic children.